Posts Tagged ‘PAO’

I was Interviewed Today!


Being interviewed when you are married to a soldier, or any military personnel, involves a certain amount of common sense.  I am always reminded by my husband about OPSEC (you can look it up, but it’s about not giving too much information and watching what you say) rules.  My friends husband works for PAO (Public Affairs Office) and he is always reminding her about watching what we upload on the internet and how much information we give out.  And in turn, we remind each other!  This is one of the reasons I have chosen to remain anonymous on this blog as well.

So when I was asked to participate in an interview that they were conducting with spouses of deployed soldiers, I said sure and also reminded myself of things not to talk about.  For me, it is rather simply.  I never talk about religion or politics, unless, of course, that is what the interview is about.  The other thing we have to remember is that because our husbands are in the military, their boss is the president.  That means that comments about the president or about the current candidates for president are not made.  It’s not that we are not allowed to have an opinion, but in this forum, we just need to be sensitive.  Think about it, would you talk openly about your husband’s boss in a public forum if your comments could affect your husband’s job?  I think not!

When I was asked, there was not a lot of information.  All I knew was that they wanted spouses whose husbands were deployed.  I arrived with extra time to the location and the conference room that has been assigned to us in in use, so we had to wait for a bit.  Then the television news crew arrived.  I was expecting one of the local crews, but to our surprise it was a crew from Japan!  They had one woman that spoke very good English.  With her was the camera man and a female reporter.  Both spoke English, but just well enough for us to understand the questions.  They were escorted by a Sgt from PAO.  The Sgt was there to make sure that we didn’t stray from the OPSEC rules.  I totally expected it. 

Most of the interview was rather basic questions.  How long has your husband been gone, how are your children handling it, what do you think of their job, what’s the worst part about your husband, etc.  There were three of us being interviewed and two of us had children and the third didn’t.  I have younger children and the others children were older.  And we were all married for different lengths of time.  Overall, I felt it was a good group representing military spouses.  The only problem was that one woman just didn’t understand that not talking about politics and seemed to think that she spoke for all of us!  So the PAO had to stop her when she started talking about the presidential election.  And he stopped her before it could have gotten sticky!  Then when they asked us the hardest part about being married to a soldier was, she said, “I would say for all of us, it’s the loneliness.”  The other woman and I just looked at her and then we said how we felt.  If you want to hear what I have to say about loneliness, look at my post “Observations of a Proud Army Wife”.  It was just one of those times that I really wanted to say to this woman — are you crazy saying the things you are saying!  And how dare you tell them how I feel! 

After the interview, the two of us that had agreed on most things were talking and both agreed that the other woman needed a reality check and we were quite sure if her husband was a career solider or not.  We agreed that if he was a career soldier that his spouse needs to learn a bit of tact when talking about her experiences!  So, out of the whole thing, I get to be on television in Japan and I think I’ve made a new friend.  Not bad for a day in the life!

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