Right now, the country is facing some unprecedented struggles: with the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest unemployment rates we’ve ever seen, as well as the old sins of racism and genocide being reckoned with once again. It feels overwhelming to so many of us. We want to help, we want to make things better, we want to DO something — but so often military spouses feel that our hands are tied because we never live in one community for long, and aren’t there rules about this sort of thing anyway?
How can we demand a change
Except our hands aren’t tied. There’s a lot we can do.
- From protesting to
- donating to
- calling our representatives and demanding change
- And most importantly: we can vote.
If you are worried about the way things are being handled in the pandemic, with policing, or whatever concerns are most important to you: make your voice heard and vote. Your vote is what could cause a positive difference in your local, state, and national communities.
As military spouses, we have a sort of superpower. Our perspective has been shaped by many different places around the country and the globe, and we can see the good and bad from all over. We know what works and what doesn’t; we have a unique insight on how systems operate best. Our mobility is a strength when voting because we see just how important local and state leadership is on issues that become national ones.
Don’t wait until November
So don’t wait until November comes and goes: make sure you’re registered to vote TODAY! If you want to update your registration or register for the very first time, check out Secure Families Initiative’s website for more information. And don’t just stop there: call up your friends and make sure they’re registered too! Imagine the impact our community can have if we all show up.
The deaths of George Floyd, of Breonna Taylor, of Tamir Rice, of Eric Garner, of Freddy Gray, of Philando Castile, of Michael Brown, of thousands more are tragic and senseless. The response by local officials in these cases has often been frustratingly negligent. We can all see that the problems with accountability are not just a policing issue, but a governmental one too, and solutions must be found. Our voice, our vote, is the most powerful agent of change we have and can literally save lives.
Erin Thomas Anhalt is a Navy spouse of over twenty years and a social media consultant.
Sarah Streyder is an Air Force spouse and founder of the Secure Families Initiative.