Patience for ‘Window Dressing?’


There’s no doubt that any attention by the public on military spouse issues and the honor of sacrifice (instead of, say, the drama) is a good a thing. However …

As this Time magazine online post points out, veteran groups are starting to be concerned that the whole “Joining Forces” thing is just immeasurable fluff, aimed at making the administration look like they are doing something to help (right at the beginning of campaign season, he points out) without actually requiring results.

This is not a new concern here – even Jill Biden, spouse of Vice President Joseph Biden admitted to us when the program first rolled out in April that there is really no way to tell what, if anything, it is accomplishing.

But the Time piece made me wonder – are spouses worried about being “window dressing” during a campaign year the same way veterans are? Or are we more likely to take the good from something like this (the exposure, for example) and leave the bad (like being an election year pawn) behind?

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • DL Sly

    I guess that will depend on how well they like being played for a fool.

  • Tiffany K

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jeanette Evans. I am appalled at all the “fluff” and “admiration” from the “efforts”. When they stop threatening our pay, benefits, retirement etc etc, maybe, and that’s a strong maybe, I’ll believe anything that spews from their vile mouths. I feel the same way with the show Biggest Loser soliciting military spouses to apply for a trip to the ranch. It’s nothing more than a ratings booster, and publicity tactic to capture the audience. They’ve done everything else. They need a new angle, and the hottest angle right now is “thanking” all of us for the “job” we do. Personally, I chose this life, I chose the hardships, I chose the benefits, I refuse to be part of the exploitation due to my husband’s service.

  • mrs perry

    Exploitation at its finest, when all the pomp and circumstance is over, we are back to the bottom of the pile. Thats why I hate when spouses say im married to the military, yeah if so its a one way relationship, im married to a man who happens to be in the military. This is one of the main reasons I have continued my education and have a career separate of my husband’s.

  • Lauramroberts

    I get angry every time Spouses or their Troops are used for political gain in Washington. And this little project by Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden is the worst type of exploitation there is. It’s falling on deaf ears here. Let our Military Spouses handle this program if you are going to have one.

    The next budget crisis will have us fearing a lack of a paycheck again, but hey they love us….right. Vet benefits and retirements are on the cutting block, but hey they support the Troops and their Families….yeah right.

    Do they really think we are that stupid? I’m tired of hearing about this non program and the ads on the TV.

  • SemperSteen

    “Sup·port: to provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities; to aid the cause, policy, or interests of.”

    Like everyone else, I don’t appreciate being part of a superficial dog and pony show put on by politicians or anyone else for political gain, ratings, etc. Our politicians sure do “support” the troops when the cameras are on and they stand to gain from it, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty and priorities must be made, the troops and their families suddenly become not so important anymore. Rhetoric about “We support our military families” suddenly changes to “Sacrifices must be made,” yet the people making those empty speeches never seem to be doing any of the sacrificing.

    Times are tough and the current administration should not waste time and taxpayer money on half-assed projects that don’t even require results. I would much rather not worry about my husband receiving a paycheck than be given an empty “Thank you” by people in Washington while they mug for the cameras. If they truly appreciate our military families then they need to SHOW it, not SAY it.