Milfams Miss Out in State of the Union


Military families didn’t get much play in President Obama’s State of the Union address given before a joint session of congress tonight. Since yesterday he devoted one of his administration’s few policy reports entirely to the subject, we really don’t have much to complain about. Still, it would’ve been nice to receive a bigger mention during such a highly public event.

When he did address military families it was to say this:

Tonight, let us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation is united in support of our troops and their families.  Let us serve them as well as they have served us – by giving them the equipment they need; by providing them with the care and benefits they have earned; and by enlisting our veterans in the great task of building our own nation.

As in years past, there were a few military members in attendance at the invitation of the president. As this story reported, Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta (but not his wife, Jennifer), Staff Sgt. Brian Mast and Brianna Mast (Staff Sgt. Mast was seriously wounded in Afghanistan), Gunnery Sergeant Nicole Mohabir and Dr. Peter Rhee (the Navy veteran and military surgeon who oversaw care of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after the Arizona shootings) were all there.

The president overall said very little about the military, focusing instead on issues like bipartisanship, education and jobs. Other than talking briefly about ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and DoD spending cuts, the only other military reference was a mention of the recently repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and a call on all colleges and universities to allow ROTC and military recruiters.

Without getting into a political discussion, do you think the president should have spent more time talking about the military, military families and veterans?

Also, is hosting a webcast Thursday with Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough where editor Ward Caroll will ask five or six of the tough questions you submit. Find out more information here!

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.
  • This post seems to invite discussions that have never been welcome on SpouseBuzz.

    • VirginiaSpouse

      I agree with Sis B, and I thought right away that if the president had focused “too much” on military families and spouses, he would’ve been accused of “pimping out” the military. It’s a tightrope a president must walk, and posts like this just invite people on either side of the political fence to feel either attacked or supported.
      I suggest you watch First Lady Michelle Obama on Oprah today, talking again — to an enormous audience — about military families.

  • I wholeheartedly agree with Jessica.