Move over Claudia Joy!

Move over Claudia Joy!

April 14, 2011 ~ Yesterday, forty expectant military moms received a “well-deserved” baby shower through the combined efforts of Operation Shower, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Second Lady Jill Biden.  Martha Stewart was on hand to teach the art of preserving memories through scrapbooking.  Each of the forty moms received donated gifts totaling $1000 for their families.

Said Mrs. Obama, “So we want to ask the rest of the nation to look at this. This is a fun way to give back. And we did this at the White House. We brought you guys White House onesies and blankets. We took up a drive. We had boxes all over the West Wing and the East Wing. People wrote checks. We brought – I mean, this was fun. And any business, any community, any school can do this for a military family, for an expectant mom. All you have to do is find them. And all you all have to do is ask and reach out.”

A minimum of $40,000 was handed out in gifts.  With a struggling economy, is that the best use of that amount of money? I would think that the costs of providing a security detail was much higher. A week prior to the baby shower numerous agencies were busy working on the project. The Secret Service, NCIS, Coast Guard, USMC, State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement in Onslow County, NC, as well as Wilmington, NC were involved.  Every time Michelle feels motivated to “give” how much does she tap into the Federal Budget?

Thousands of Marines are based at Camp Lejeune.  How many of their wives are pregnant?  Are there only forty women at Camp Lejeune currently carrying a child?  If not, how did these forty women get chosen? Do the expectant moms married to the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard get the same treatment?  What about the “Marine Moms To Be” living aboard Camp Pendleton?  It’s our job to “find them” so let’s all head to the nearest Commissary and look for protruding bellies.

What about the follow up?  How much comfort will a White House Onsie bring to the military mom who gives birth to her baby while her husband is deployed?  Is anyone going to reach out and help her then?

To quote the words of our President, “Let me be clear.”  I am not knocking the efforts of Operation Shower.  My hat is off to all who work hard for that organization to make a difference in the lives of our military families.  I am glad to hear that our First and Second ladies are generating awareness and support for our military families, but I have to wonder if this is really the best way to make a real difference in the lives of those who serve this nation.  Michelle and Jill have been traveling around the country for a year “raising awareness” for the sacrifice being made by our military families.  They claim they’ve gotten to know our families and their eyes have been opened to the struggles being faced.  Apparently, when asked what is needed most, our military families have pointed out the value of onesies and scrapbooking supplies.

How much money has been spent for the travel, the meetings, the pep rallies, and the subliminal campaign ads so Michelle could host a fancy baby shower and then hand the rest off to us without any guidance or suggestions that would really change lives?  I don’t have the answer but I’d like to ask our military families what they think.  It seems appropriate for the Lifetime television network to host a baby shower or two for the fans of their hit show Army Wives, but is it really the job we expect from our government?

When I find the answers, I’ll be sure to preserve the memories in my Martha Stewart scrapbook.


Originally published  by the author on


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