Welcome to the blogosphere, General! Chief of Staff of the Army General Ray Odierno kicked off his blog yesterday in honor of Veterans Day. His topic of choice was why he chose to serve. Odierno said the inspiration came from his father’s service in the Army and his father-in-law and uncle’s service in the Navy.
Odierno also stateed he hopes to use the blog as a form of contact between himself and the troops. He encouraged soldiers to ask questions and share their experiences.
“If there are questions or issues that you’d like to hear from me on, feel free to let me know. I can’t promise that I’ll address your particular issue, but I can promise I’ll consider it.”
Hello GEN Odierno,
I hope you get to read my note.
I am an Army Gold Star Wife and have called your office on numerous occassions in an attempt to visit you. No one has returned my phone calls or emails.
Why is this, Sir?
My Husband was a Marine Corps Scout Sniper and then went Special Forces and fought and eliminated this Nation’s enemies.
I have called three members of your staff, Sir and I am consistently ignored. I have also written you a couple of letters. It is extremely hurtful that I am dismissed, especially since I read the Oct 12 article entitled, “Chief Consoles Gold Star Families.”
If my Husband was here right now, he would be saddened that this is upsetting to me. I wish every day that I had not been such a supportive wife – perhaps my Husband would be here right now if I was more protective of him. Instead, I told him he was the best and the bravest and this encouraged him to go to war. I now have no husband and when I contact your office, Sir, I am ignored.
This is a HORRIBLE feeling and an Army Gold Star Wife should not feel like this.
I have had enough stress, anxiety, pain, and anguish in my life, Sir.
Mrs. Connie Moralez-Piper
Proud Gold Star Wife of SSG Christopher Neal Piper
I wonder if General O remembers me. I believe I was in his first command. I was a wheel mechanic in Charlie Battery, 1/41 F.A. in Germany in ’76. He got there a couple of weeks after I did in the early part of .76. Send me an email General.
Hello GEN Odierno, I hope you get to read this, Sir. I did recieve your letter last year and thank you for your kindness. HOwever, Sir, my problems continue and when I called the Joint Staff Family Support office they totally ignored me and it is incredibly hurtful. I have asked MANY times to speak to Mrs. Dempsey in hopes that as a Senior Spouse she will understand my plight. I have begged the Special Rorces Generals to help me get back to Ft. Bragg since my step-daughter needs me greatly because of our DOUBLE tragedy. We have had Chris taken from us because of the war and now her own mother who was very dear to me. She was young like me and did not survive the sorrow and grief of losing Chris. I have to resort to this means of communication since the Joint Staff family Support leadership has wholly discredited me and it is causing me a great amount of emotional stress, anxiety and psychological trauma as well. I tried contacting the SOCOM Family director and Care Coalition director and they do not respond to me either. THe suicide rate in the Army was at an all time high last years sir, I have been very hurt by Special Forces Colonels and Generals. Yes, in the past they have sometimes helped me when I practically begged, but then they have also hurt me as well by treating me as if I am a huge bother and problem. I am the one who has suffered SO MUCH loss! My Mother died suddenly just months before my Husband and MUCH MUCH more has happned. I wish people would just STOP JUDGING me and try to understand what I am suffering and try to help get me home. I cannot just pick up and leave ..it’s not that easy, it is very complicated for various reasons but no one takes the time to care and listen and understand. I feel ashamed that I have resorted to blogging since the Joint Staff and others are unresponsive. My Husband died thinking I would be cared for in the event of his death. I survived watching his life leave his body but now I have been ostracized and shunned to the point of feeling emotionally traumatized from a sense of being betrayed and that everything I believed to be true,….is not.
With Appreciation & hope for Caring,
Mrs. Connie Moralez-Piper
Special Forces GOld Star Wife of SSG Christopher Piper
Good Evening GEN Odierno,
The photos of your father and father-in-law are really neat! My (late) Husband (SSG Christopher Piper) had a grandfather that was a Seabee Commander in the Marshall-Gilbert Islands in WWII.
Sir, I have been trying to speak to you for so very long and I keep getting turned away. My (late) Husband was one of your Warriors and as a Gold Star Wife, I would truly like to speak to you about an issue that has been so hurtful since my Husband had his life taken from him. I even tried to have a visit with Mrs. Dempsey but the Joint Staff was very unkind to me as well as the Veteran’s Liaison with (prior) SEN Kerry’s office. Sir, she hung up on me today when all I was trying to do was have the Joint Staff Family Support Office arrange a visit for me with Mrs. Dempsey. She and her Husband said that they care greatly for Families of the Fallen. I have a TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) magazine that has a 3 page story on their visit with Gold Star Families.
Why is it, Sir, that even a Veteran’s Liaison (now with Massachusetts SEN Cowan) was so very unkind and treated me with no regard for me as a Gold Star Wife. I am reading about the Secretary of the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign and am wondering, “What about the Resiliency of Army Widows?” Speaking for myself, my Resiliency has been GREATLY Diminished by incidents like what happened today…from the Aide of a Massachusetts Senator.
Sir, Gold Star Families suffer enormous emotional and psychological trauma. When I tried the behavioral health system, Sir, they referred me to a child psychologist. Army Leadership has CARING intentions but it is the staff, Sir, that (in MY case) not only failed me, but made my life so much worse. I say this because people are unresponsive to me (Joint Staff Family Support and the SOCOM Family Support office). I wish someone would please just help me I have asked so very many times and no one has time to listen. Sir, I venture to say SADLY that the Army suicide rate of 325 last year is greatly in part because their lives, their issues, their stories etc.. are so lengthy and complex and (in my experience) no one takes the time to really try to understand because they have their own lives to worry about.
I hope this is approved so that people can read it since something is just not working and I have ideas but I have been wholly discredited to the point that Senator Cowan’s military Liaison for Veteran’s/Military (someone whose job it is to care) actually hung up on me today after telling me, “The Joint Staff, the Military, have NO obligation to you, Mrs. Piper!!” Her statement is wholly incongruent with GEN Dempsey’s statement to the Surviving Families last year when he stated, “We’re here to honor you this weekend. Most Americans have not had the life-altering experience of being handed a folded flag like all of you have. We honor your sacrifice and will never forget it.” Sir, please, when you see GEN Dempsey again, please tell him how horribly I feel at how some of his staff have treated me. They told the Aide for SEN Cowan that they would not honor my request because they had no obligation to me as an Army Widow. This is extremely, emotionally hurtful and harmful, Sir, and is dramatically reducing what little resiliency I have left. My mother died suddenly before I had to watch my Husband die for 2 weeks and there is SO MUCH MORE to what has happened to me, GEN Odierno. Can I please talk to you directly,Sir? I don’t want other people talking for me. I want to speak for myself…other people are not relating my circumstance with any accuracy because it is not them who has suffered – they did not have to watch their Loved One die in front of their eyes and then suffer year after year after their death. I have been judged and criticized and now discredited – so I want to speak for myself.
With Appreciation & Respect,
Mrs. Connie Moralez-Piper
Army Gold Star Wife ( I hope this matters)