grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I signed this petition and thought I'd give you a chance to. Here's the description:

My grandmother, Elaine Danforth Harmon, was a trailblazer. During World War II, Gammy, as we called her, enlisted in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She was one of 1,102 women who risked their lives stateside ferrying planes, towing targets for gunnery training, and instructing male pilots. Sadly, thirty-eight of these women were killed during their service.

The WASP have been recognized as veterans by the Veterans’ Administration and were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Obama. Yet, despite their service, and ultimate sacrifice, the Department of the Army refuses to allow their ashes to be placed in Arlington National Cemetery like it does to their male equivalents.

Gammy was the most giving, selfless woman I have ever known. She hardly ever asked for anything, so when she did, my sisters and I paid attention. Her dying wish was to be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with the WASP and she lobbied for decades to make this happen. In fact, when testifying before Congress in 1981, she said, “it is our understanding that we are eligible for military funerals. If there is any question about it, we would like to have this clarified.” She wouldn’t give up on this fight and so, neither will we. This is why your signature means so much to us.

Join me in asking Congress to provide the clarification our Gammy asked for all the way back in 1981 which would guarantee the WASP full military burial rights in Arlington National Cemetery.

Gammy saw Arlington as a museum for U.S. military history and we believe the WASP have earned their place among their fellow servicemen and women. And it’s not just us who think so. Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ), sponsored a bipartisan bill that would restore burial rights for the WASP at Arlington National Cemetery, stating, “These women fought, and died, in service to their country. They trained in the military style: sleeping on metal cots, marching, and living under military discipline. They deserve the full honors we give our war heroes …”

Being part of the WASP and her service to her country was Gammy’s lifelong passion. It was very near and dear to her heart because she would do anything for her country, including risk her life, as she did while in service. By signing my petition, you’re not just helping us fulfill our promise to our Gammy, you’re also bringing justice and honor to service women who deserve full burial rights at our nation’s place of honor.

Here is the link:
grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
I signed this petition and thought I'd give you the chance to as well. Please sign if you agree. Here's the description:

Since birth, my sister has been both mentally and physically handicapped. Becky was born with Down syndrome. At the age of 15, she had two massive strokes, was diagnosed with a terminal illness called Moyamoya, and was placed in hospice. She needs to be fed, dressed, bathed, and taken to the bathroom. In short, she depends on us for everything.

However, under the current U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) guidelines, my husband, an active duty member of the Armed Forces, and I are unable to claim Becky as a secondary dependent, even though we are her legal guardians. To me, this is unfair and puts undue strain on a military family who should be concentrating on supporting their loved one off defending our nation.

Currently, service members may add parents, step-parents, legal guardians, incapacitated children over the age of 21 (whom you had custody/guardianship of when they became incapacitated, or prior to your enlistment), children and step-children. I am calling on the DOD to include incapacitated siblings in the list of those we can care for legally.

Our mother, who dedicated her life to caring for Becky, passed away from pancreatic cancer, and our adoptive father is not willing to care for her any longer. If we had not taken her, she would be in a nursing home. When we became Becky’s caregivers, I had to quit my job to be here for her, which reduced our income by a lot. As a family of 7 living off of one income and what little Becky draws from Social Security, we are struggling just to pay our bills.

Since we are unable to add her as a dependent, we cannot add her to our family insurance plan, forcing her to rely solely on Medicaid for her medical needs. It's not enough. She requires expensive specialists who are equipped to care for someone like her, and most of these specialist don't accept Medicaid.
Another issue we are running into is being able to enroll in the military's Exceptional Family Member Program. This program is designed to assist military families like mine with priority for housing, specific consideration regarding duty stations, 40 hours of respite care per month, and many other supportive services. Unfortunately, because we are unable to add Becky as a dependent, we cannot enroll in this program that was designed to help military families just like mine.

Our family is suffering because of an arbitrary clause that won’t allow us to to claim my sister as a dependent, even though she is clearly incapable of taking care of herself. We need your help to help the DOD realize that this is wrong, so they change their policy and finally provide some peace of mind for families like mine. Please sign my petition.



grimrose_eilwynn: (Default)
Hopeless Dreamer

March 2016

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