- Health Care is a military family issue - Congress is about to raise rates on retirees, possibly on active duty families, and they are considering cutting budgets to the Veteran's Administration. Fix the entire nation's health care woes and we can also take care of our military and vets. And, guess what? The military community votes. Frame this is as saving their system and you gain a new audience for a progressive health care system.
- Repealing DOMA is a military family issue - Many of our newly outed GLBT members have spouses (some legal, some waiting on legality) and they cannot be recognized by the Department of Defense. No military ID cards, no base access without special permission, no health care, no Commissary benefits, no BX benefits, no belonging to the Officer Spouses' Club or the Enlisted Spouses' Club. What's up folks? Our military members deserve the best and that includes care for their loved ones.
- Education is a military family issue - one at the National Level. We move too much to be involved at every locality. Give us a national movement that we can get behind. Repeal of NCLB would be a good start. Getting rid of national standardized tests would be a great follow on.
- Military Sexual Trauma is a civilian issue - not just a military one. I will be writing more about this in the weeks that follow because a bullet point can't do it justice. In the meantime, please schedule time to go see this film, The Invisible War, which opens June 22nd.
As to Providence, I can't imagine a better place to host a convention. The city was walkable - hotels, stores, restaurants, parks, the river, all well planned and beautifully built smack dab in the heart of the city. Enjoy the photos below!
Imagine my surprise when I saw the view from our hotel room and there she was, that beautiful building in the distance. I didn't imagine I would be able to see the city spread out before me much less photograph it from the privacy of my own room! I was able to see the city in all it's glory, late afternoon light, early morning fog, and, on the very last day, with the pinks, purples, and peaches of dawn light. Thank you, 4Freedom, for making that room reservation so early!
But the highlight, by far, took place at night and you have no doubt heard mention of it's name, Waterfire. Comedian Elon James White, our emcee for the closing keynote, said the name alone could have come from Game of Thrones. I don't think he was far off.
The entire city came out for the event. The walkways, the low stone walls, the steps, were covered with people of all ages, enjoying the cool evening, listening to the rich music, many sipping wine from bottles that they had brought with them for the occasion. I love seeing mixed groups of people together and this did not disappoint. There were little kids escaping their parents grasp, pointing at the never ending line of firepits; young lovers that had eyes only for each other, obviously seeing the reflection of the firelight in the eyes of their partner; bands of teens just hanging out, having a good time; and throngs of convention goers who hadn't even taken the time to remove their name tags. CABerkeleyWV and I had a great time walking up one side of the river and coming back down the other.