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12 Great Military Spouses Melba Should Talk to

Babette Maxwell
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tagged: editorial, career
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By (#12) Babette Maxwell

Imagine my surprise.  Ten years I’ve been working for the military spouse community and THIS is what we’ve been reduced to after all the work spouses have done to debunk myths and dispel stereotypes:  a recent article by one Melba Newsome entitled “12 great jobs for military spouses,” which is super funny since she actually listed 13.  (slaps forehead)  

After getting over the initial read where she quotes Dr. Lillie Cannon, MSEP, I thought to myself first, “Was this from The Onion?” followed by, “Maybe this is a reprint from 1950?” then, “Maybe she meant 10 great summer jobs for teens???”  Then, I did a bit of research (something I’d recommend Ms. Newsome tackle before addressing milspouses.  Ever.  Again.) on Melba.  I was shocked.  She’s actually a real writer with awards and stuff, assuming I have the correct writer.  Can’t imagine there are two Melba Newsomes in the field of journalism.  She’s done some amazing work, truthfully, for “O” magazine, Maxim, The New York Times and oh, she’s written before about the military.  Hmm.  So, how in the BLUE hell did she get THIS far off the mark about jobs for military spouses? 

Well, she did say jobs, not careers, right?  But still.  Babysitting?  Gift basket creator (WTH is that anyway?)?  I dare say I was slightly put off.  Especially since there are plenty of people, myself included, who have worked for over a decade to change this nonsense perpetuated by civilians who know absolutely nothing about us. 

Perhaps Ms. Newsome should trot on over to MSBA (And, no. I won’t explain the acronym as that is part of the lesson here). Visit with (#1) Rikki and (#2) Joanna.  Ask them about starting and owning a business, and while she’s at it, she might bring up a little piece of legislation called The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act.  It gives those of us who, you know, have jobs and pay taxes and all, a break from state taxes when forced to relocate due to our service member's military obligations.  It IS a military spouse driven initiative, by the way. 

Or, perhaps she should visit with BSF.  Between JUST the national leadership team of five, there’s more than a dozen degrees (three or four lawyers, a couple of spouses with Doctorates, I might add), a couple of books and some very Type-A types who could rule the world if people like Ms. Newsome would kindly step out of the way. (#3) Kathy Roth-Douquet, Esq., is a Marine spouse, a lawyer, a founder of BSF, a notable author; she used to work for Revlon Corporate, and oh, by the way, was a Clinton White House and Pentagon appointee.  I’m kinda going out on a limb here…she’s NOT a cake maker.  She’s more of a “havin’ her cake AND eatin’ it, too” kinda gal. 

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