I am a veteran and a woman. I loved my job during active duty for over the eight years I served in the Army. I scoffed at the idea during my initial training in Fort Lee, VA., when told by a female cadre, that if I wanted to make the military a career -- never have children. I was married and we did not have children until 8 years into my supply logistics career. I reluctantly left the service when little support was available for adequate childcare in my overseas assignment. I was stationed in Weisbaden, Germany at the time. My command did their best to ease the adjustment of motherhood and soldiering. I was an E-5(P) supply sergeant for 142d S&S Bn, 29th S&S Co. However, the undercurrent and common attitude held at that time was that if "Uncle Sam" wanted a soldier to have a family, it would have been issued to you.
I could not put the quality of life of my daughter above my choice to be a soldier. However, it was a difficult choice and one I struggled with. There has to be better system in place. I was on track for BNOC and then to be assigned as a Drill Sergeant, when I became pregnant and that had to be cancelled.
Why accept females in the military if not all aspects of their needs can be met? I understand that defending our country is paramount and being ready at a moment’s notice to move-out is necessary. I had no problems with that. I have a problem with non-existent childcare providers, especially if both parents work or are on active duty.
My spouse had power of attorney if I had been sent into a combat theater. That was not the problem. The problem I discovered is performing the day-to-day operations in garrison while training for upcoming missions. There has to be a better way to evaluate how to support military families if those families are to accompany active duty military members on assignments not in a combat arena.
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