Like many Americans I watched the state of the Union. The Presidents said that we were all part of something greater- the American Family. As a Gold Star mother and an advocate for Military Families I hope that we are truly now a full part of the American Family. The initiatives announced the day before to help families look promising. I am worried about the effects of multiple deployments on the education of our military children. Never in our history have families had such stress as these multiple deployments. We have studies showing the effects of divorce or incarceration on the education of children, but none that I know of the effect of multiple deployments. Children on a military base going to a DOD school may show less educational loss that a student of a guardsman in a school where he/she is the only child dealing with the issue. On the other hand children on base are more likely to know a child who has had a parent killed in the war. I would have liked to hear the president talk about the part of the American Family who has given the most.
As we heard about the deficit I could not help think about how much of this was started in the Bush years with having wars that were not only unnecessary but also unfunded. Had we not squandered on treasure and our precious family members this union would be in a better state.
Diane Davis Santoriello
of 1st Lt. Neil A. Santoriello Jr. KIA 8-13-04