I have discussed this issue with other wounded warrior family members (the guys themselves, wives, fiancees, girlfriends and mothers), and most of us seem to be on the same page. However, recently I have come across a couple who certainly march to a different drummer, and it is a drummer none of the rest of us would ever keep beat with - such as begging for money as your focal point, playing with people's emotions, and outright lying or certainly exaggerating about procedures, problems and quality of care. The people who can about our soldiers and follow our stories deserve so much better!
Those of us who have chosen to share our soldiers' lives are in a unique position to get out to the people what it is really like in the war on the homefront. We can show them our lives in this strange new world. Not everyone will agree with everything we do, and they don't have to, that's okay. However, respect should be shown not only by the followers posting on our pages, but most importantly, by us.
The people who take the time out of their busy lives to check in with us mean the world to me. Whether you read this blog, follow Derek's facebook page, follow Krystina's page or follow my page, I am so thankful for each and every one of you. You don't have to agree with what I've said or done, I am my own person, and I make mistakes, and I don't always do the right thing, but I am doing the best that I can.
I am not perfect, and I am not trying to say that only my way is right. This is just my opinion.
I have never deleted a comment off of Derek's facebook or this blog (even my former caringbridge blog where I was attacked mercifulessly) just because I didn't agree with it or because it was "mean" to me. It is your right to say how you feel. I will respect that. I would only ask that you respect me, as well, and the fact that I am going through a very hard time and not attack me.
Respect is a two way street. I respect all of the wonderful people who follow our story, even though some of them leave comments I would rather not see. It is my personal opinion that because you are taking the time from your busy lives, we need to be respectful, even when you are not, and we should never, ever use you.
Now again, I tread carefully here. I really feel the need to stand up for all of you who take the time to come into our lives, but I do not want to outright criticize another family going through hell just because I do not agree with how certain things are handled. There are just some things I feel are so over the top, and I must address them.
Recently, I viewed a page of a soldier whose journey I have been following and due to an ambiguous status, it had many people upset, including family members. When given the chance to clarify, the page's admin choose instead to attack the people who were asking questions with: "Be happy with what you get. Don't ask questions." (or something like that - the thread has since been deleted.) I'm sorry, but my back went up. These people are supporting your soldier and you first upset them with a status making them believe something horrible and then refuse to clarify and get upset with them for caring? These people have feelings and have taken your soldier into their hearts. They have given you respect, and you repay that respect by attacking them? I'm sorry, that is just wrong.
We have the right to deal with this journey the best way we know how. No two people deal with tragedy the same. But there has to be common ground. You must show respect, and if you intentionally or mistakenly upset those who are supporting you, you need to apologize, not act out more. The events of the last few weeks with some of these families have shown me that there are some not so nice folks around here. They will use you, play with your emotions, make excuses for their bad behavior, and then blame others when caught.
All I ask is that we respect one another. For the families, please don't play with our emotions. We all love the soliders and want the best for them and their families. We cheer with you, cry with you, pray with you, grieve with you, and we hurt when you turn on us for caring and wanting more information when you allude to something else. We are not here for you to play with.
When we choose to share our lives and have people care about and want to follow our story, we owe them respect. We also owe them updates that are factual and clear. We choose how much to share, but when we made the decision to share our lives, we now have a duty to those who came to us and now care about our journey. This is something we should cherish.
I hope this made sense. I'm just being protective, I guess. I feel for those of us going through this. I not only sympathize, I empathize. But even so, you need to be respectful.
Have a wonderful day!