By now, I'm sure you've heard about the book detailing the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. "No Easy Day", written by a former Navy SEAL whom I will not publicly name in order to do my part to keep HIS secret (see what I did there?), has taken the world, and White House by storm. The former SEAL claims that the story of bin Laden's demise was not nearly as dramatic as the "official" tale makes it sound. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have not read the book and it will not be released until September 4. Therefore, I have no idea what other shocking revelations may be revealed.
I am so grateful for all of our servicemen and women who put their lives on the line every day, men like this author and former SEAL.
That being said...
What the hell happened to discretion being the better part of valor?
Earlier this month, the USS Porter collided with an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. As such the commander was relieved of duty, making him the 15th CO fired this year. According to CNN, there were 17 COs fired in 2011 and the year with the most firings, thus far: 2003 with 26 commanding offers relieved of duty. Source: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-20/us/navy.commanders_1_navy-commander-gary-roughead-officer-jobs?_s=PM:US
I am not in the military, so clearly I know nothing about this really. However, I cannot help but wonder what's going on with all these firings? To an outsider, these seem like really high numbers. I wonder what is the root cause of all of these firings: are the wrong people being selected for the job to begin with? Is it fatigue from the new motto of the military "do more with less?" Or, is it poor training for the watch standers?
Obviously, I do not know. What I do know is that all of these incidents sure make the appeal of having a husband get selected for an XO or CO billet a lot less appealing.
For those of you enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, and those of you who utilize ABA through your ECHO benefits, you may have heard about big changes coming down the pike. The Berge's et al have won their suit against the Department of Defense, giving ABA benefits to retirees. This is FABULOUS news, as one day, I hope my husband can retire, spend time with our children, and we can maintain the special therapy that our sons on the autism spectrum so desperately need.
However, Tricare has 60 days from the original ruling to appeal (time's up on September 27, 2012). Until then, there have been and will likely continue to be motions and countermotions and genuine confusion for those of us following this thing. For parents who have children that are NOT on the autism spectrum, the question is whether or not those without an ASD diagnosis will be allowed to retain their ABA services. We're getting conflicting information on this, and not a single Tricare representative wants to go on record or put anything in writing at this point - at least not one that we can find!
If this ruling and subsequent Tricare policy applies to you, I would encourage you to join the fight. Find the Advocating for ABA Tricare Policy Change on Facebook (search: Advocating for ABA Tricare Policy Change). It is a closed group where we can express concern, share info and ask questions. I am a part of that organization. I hope to see you over there!