Family doesn’t lay you off

I have five living kids at home, and the comments I get from strangers when they first hear this is telling. If someone tells me “That’s awesome,” or “Sounds like a beautiful family,” they are most likely Catholic or Muslim. But that’s not most people. Most of the time I get asked “You know how babies are made, right?” or “Sheesh, did you run out of condoms?”

I’m not sure when it became weird to have large families, or actually like having kids, but its painfully obvious that we have oriented our culture around mostly childless people. When I see ads for Disney parks, they feature young or old couples, and typically at least one gay couple. But there are more gay couples than kids in these commercials now. Disney, a theme park once totally oriented for children, is quickly becoming a childless playground.

Everywhere the advantage of childlessness is touted. People with large families are bad for the environment. We are made to suffer through inflation, because it’s harder to feed our kids when the price of eggs quadruples due to bad monetary policy. And try going to Disney, or fly to Hawaii, or get a hotel to provide you two rooms next to each other to accommodate your large family, because you’ll often get little to no sympathy or help.

The big advantage of family finally became apparent to me this last week. Almost 4 years ago, the Navy accused me of a crime I didn’t commit. I provided all the evidence to show this, but the investigator, a corrupt official in the Defense Department’s Investigator General, wrote a biased report to try and punish me. I’ve had to defend myself at a Court Martial, an Article 15 proceeding, and this last week at a Board of Inquiry, which finally found me 100% innocent of all charges. During this process though, I watched many people that I served with abandon me. The Navy went from telling me I was one of their best officers, to “You’re horrible scum,” to now saying “Hey, since you’re innocent we have this great assignment to get you back on track!”

Honestly, it’s pathetic. I was reminded every day of how fickle people and organizations are. I have read plenty of articles about people getting cancelled at work because someone made an accusation, but now I actually lived it.

The one constant I had during this process was family. Every time I came home after receiving bad news, I had a wife and kids that still loved me, still believed in me, and encouraged me to take on the next challenge. While the true friends I have were encouraging, it really was family that kept me going. It makes me feel bad for the childless couples out there, because as I see companies laying people off, I wonder “Who do they turn to?”

It’s telling that the same government that makes it difficult to have large families is the same government that wants you to worship it, make it your religion, and then cancel and kick you out once you are no longer useful. I’ll write more about the whole process later, but for now, I’ll be having dinner tonight with the best group of people I know.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Because honestly, after multiple years of serving, I have no idea what their views on darn near anything are.

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