Mission Roll Call Seeks Voices, But Limits Feedback


Field of Stars at the World War II Memorial, Washington D.C., courtesy of the WWII Memorial.com


It’s estimated that only about half of all United States military veterans are using the VA benefits they’ve earned, or are connected to a veteran service organization.

So, what’s the response? One, featured in today’s VA email newsletter, is a “movement” named Mission Roll Call

… to reach all Veterans, to learn how to better serve them. Every Voice Matters. Stand and be counted, make your voice heard.

But there’s a problem from my point of view as the spouse to a World War II veteran who is not actively using his VA benefits.

It’s “Every Voice Matters” campaign is pseudo marketing with a pseudo survey.

When you click on the “make your voice heard” link, there’s a survey that only gives you three options for your “most important issue”: veteran suicide, veteran employment and veteran caregiver support.

That’s it.

First let me acknowledge, veteran suicide, employment and caregiver support are all very important concerns.

However, if “Mission Roll Call” really wanted to “REACH ALL VETERANS,” this is not the way to connect with those who are not engaged. In fact, the survey is more like an insult to their intelligence.

There’s no option to write in a specific concern. There’s only the three issues, a space for your name, email and then a “VOTE” button.

That’s how you supposedly make your voice heard, pick only from Mission Roll Call’s three issues?

I understand if the survey is an attempt by the organization to prioritize its predetermined top issue.

I get it. But present it that way.

PLEASE don’t market this as a campaign to give “voice” to individual veterans and their concerns.

It’s not.

It appears only as a way to advance the organization’s concerns and to build a database of emails.

Additionally, this “pseudo survey” will come up with only “pseudo results” – none of them will be accurate or real. Unfortunately, such pseudo polls have become pervasive on the internet while consumers have become less discerning.

As a veteran’s spouse, I thought Mission Roll Call might be a way to encourage my WWII Veteran to use his VA health benefits for his hearing loss.

I’m disappointed. He remains among the estimated 50 percent who have not reached out and probably will not thanks to the level of pseudo marketing to veterans.

More than 500 Military Spouses Are Blogging

Anne Marie, creator of the military spouse blog Household 6 Diva.

I was introduced to serious blogging by Air Force SMSgt Rex Temple. He blogged almost daily while deployed in Afghanistan. His blog: Afghanistan: My Last Tour.

Blogging is a trend that’s grown to involve the whole military family.

To get an idea of the extent of blogging in the military, check out the following article.

The “Stars and Stripes” features a story on military spouse blogs. The article highlights an Army wife, Anne Marie, currently stationed in Germany, and her blog Household 6 Diva. Her blog includes sections on cooking, gardening, military life and military spouses. And, she’s compiled a list of spouse blogs covering all branches: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard.

The site  Milblogging.com has more than 500 military spouse blogs registered.

Blogging Brings Memories to Life

My appreciation to Milblogging.com for highlighting important information and individual stories from and for military bloggers.

The web site is where I first learned about the blog A Little Pink in a World of Camo written by Rachel Porto , wife of Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Porto . Rachel shared photos and thoughts about their time together before deployment, on the birth of their daughter Ariana and wrote eloquently about the death of her husband who was killed in Afghanistan in March 2010.

The Roberts Family. Courtesy: When Three Becomes Two blog

Yet another young wife is facing a similar circumstance and has joined the blogging community. Again, Milblogging brought forward the story this time of Ashleigh Roberts and her husband Lance Cpl. Cody Roberts who was killed in Afghanistan in August 2010.

Unlike Porto, Roberts didn’t start blogging until after she lost her husband. A dislike of reporters is one of her reasons for beginning her blog:  When Three Becomes Two. Because of her expressed distaste for the media, I’ll stop writing and end with a portion of Roberts’ first entry that was posted on Milblogging.

WHEN THREE BECOMES TWO – Monday, Oct. 25, 2010: “I guess the first thing I should do is tell why I’ve decided to start a blog when I was so against having any media involved in the passing of my amazing husband, LCpl Cody Roberts.  I didn’t want reporters to put their nose where it didn’t belong, but they did anyway. Articles were written and quotes where made that were not accurate, and that infuriates me more than anything. That being said this is my way for people to know about Cody,  the life we had together, and the ups and downs I’m currently facing. This way there are no reporters, no media, no twisting of words.  I want my husband to be known by all, I want him to be a household name, and for people to truly be touched by the sacrifice that he made for those he never even knew.”

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