Saturday, January 13, 2007

So far, the ONLY unit to have a tour extended... 
is a National Guard unit.

Introducing Operation Norwegian Freedom - a blog I've never noticed before, written by the wife of a deployed citizen soldier from the great State of Minnesota, who calls herself Household Six.

Although the media has reported that families found out about the extension by hearing it on the news, I found out another way. The leader of my FRG (Family Readiness Group) sent out an email with the message from the Adjutant General. I didn't check my email until almost 11:00 that night and fortunately had not watched the news. When I talked to Marc the next morning and told him the news, he said they had found out through family members and the media. At this point in time they don't have official orders yet for the extension and it may be a while before they do. While the extension will happen, I don't yet know how it will affect Marc's tour and neither does he. I am angry that the media chose to assume that families and soldiers already knew about the extension. The media's goal is to sell news and they've done that very well over the last few days at the expense of the families and their soldiers. I will not rely on the media as a source of information. I will wait for more reliable news from the Minnesota National Guard, my FRG or my husband.

Yes, families deserve better than a mass email from a family support coordinator. I wonder how tight-knit the phone tree is, and how regularly it's exercised. The family support people need to be really on the ball in order to get inside the news media decision cycle.

That's not a story the news media can sit on for long, though, until the very last spouse in the brigade is notified.

Splash, out


I wonder if it's a NG related FRG problem? the first time RTO was deployed I never heard a peep from them, even though he'd asked them to call me at least once a month. (of course it could just be that they were in OKC and I was in Dallas) this deployment I'm hearing more from the FRG, mainly through email. Anyway, I'm sure that much like their spouses, the FRG leaders also have civilian jobs to do.
Just to set the record straight, the MN National Guard could not release the information until 9pm. The email was sent out soon after that. In a situation such as that, where they did not have a lot of lead time to contact families, the National Guard did what it could to contact them. The problem wasn't with the National Guard or the FRG, but rather someone at the Pentagon leaking the information to the media. The leak may or may not have been intentional; either way it happened and now we have to deal with it. Yes, it is frustrating that many families still found out through the news, but that was not the fault of the National Guard or FRG.
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