As a spouse, we do not take the oath of office. Although I know it may not be popular or politically correct to say this, I refuse to shy away from the fact that I feel I did have a duty and continue to have a duty to do the right thing. (I think I hear the voice of my sweet husband reminding me that I KNOW what the right thing is to do.)
I hope all of you feel the need to do the right thing too. The right thing for your family, the right thing for your service, the right thing for your career and also the right thing for those who have served and sacrificed for all of us.
I start this column this way, because once again I did my “duty” as a proud board member of the Fisher House Foundation. It was my honor to attend the Department of Defense Warrior Games hosted this year by the Navy and held in Chicago. It was the first time the games were held outside the fence of a military installation. The venues were wonderful and made the athletes feel special and validated the level of competition on display.
The wonderful city of Chicago was warm and welcoming and full of that great Midwest hospitality. I know a big deal was made about the events being held off of an installation, and it WAS unique and nice. But to me, the joy and the beauty of these games is the utter and complete joy of the competitors and the warmth and love of the families that have been by their side from day one. Those families can now cheer their athletes as they cross the finish line, take the podium for an award or just proudly welcome after finishing their event.
So, while many in our country may delight in not honoring the traditions of honor and service, I will always continue to express my view that duty and honor are great traditions to uphold and protect. I DO feel it is my duty after the privileges I have enjoyed and the experiences I have been given by joining my husband during his 39 year career. The very least I can do is to find ways to serve others who are continuing to give their all for this country.
I never want to lose sight of what is truly important and what makes this country so great. Young men and women who stand up and pledge to defend and protect the American people and the Constitution of the United States are the very best this country has to offer. The American people owe much to them while they are on active duty, and even more after being injured while serving.
I hope each and every one of you gets an opportunity to attend one of these Warrior Games. Next year the games will be back in Colorado Springs, Colo., where they began in 2010. The United States Air Force Academy will host and I once again hope to be able to do my “duty” and volunteer through the Fisher House Foundation. It will be my honor to serve our wounded warriors and a privilege to be their biggest cheerleader.