Thursday, August 15, 2013

Got Your 6

6 is my favorite number.

Also, there is another meaning.

Ground rules alert: this is not a forum to talk about how we feel about war.  This is about the lived lives of people, of the veterans, and the fact that many people who go to war acquire disabilities, and thus become disabled, and we who are disabled already know how to be disabled, and we who are family members of disabled people already know how to be family members of disabled people.

"Got your 6" is a military translation for the idiom "Got your back" which came about because of WWI fighter pilots' picturing of the airspace round their planes as being like a clock, with the nose being 12 (so the tail is 6).  Here, watch this PSA:

Now, they don't go into the disabled part of it, but it's there, and we all know it.  People lose limbs and get PTSD, and we know about that stuff.  This is one of the giant reasons why we need to have celebrities and organized campaigns to make sure veterans can get jobs and they and their families can be taken care of when they get back.

They don't know how to be disabled already, or necessarily what is the best way to be supportive family members.  We do.  We can help.  We can have their 6.

There's one more thing about this.  Goodwill is one of the sponsors, so there's a good side effect of our supporting this particular campaign.  Because disabled veterans have not been disabled the whole time, they will not likely have been conditioned to take kindly to the practice of sub-minimum wage payment that goes on in Goodwill shops in states where that is still an available legal loophole.  So there will be fresh new sets of eyes on that problem: angry eyes, and many.  This bodes well for change.

And I'll say one last thing: we may sometimes unfortunately tend to think of life from a scarcity model, like this: if veterans get jobs, there'll me none left for me, or for my child.  That's not really useful, or really real.  Campaigns that create jobs boost the economy, and, by definition, create jobs.  Also, campaigns that call attention to societal needs call attention to societal needs, which causes an aura effect causing attention to be pulled toward adjacent and related needs.

The ADA was not signed because of the people in wheelchairs who were relatively socially powerless....

If we think generously, we think better.  We build coalitions.  We look for commonalities and in our social usefulness we live lives of greater fulness. Let's be there for the veterans and their families because we have knowledge and skills that may be of service in untapped ways.  And in so doing we may make new friends, friends whose knowledge and skills may further the good of everyone.  And these new friends may find themselves serving their country alongside us in exciting, novel ways they could never have imagined.


O & P.S. Here is the website to check it out: . I had forgotten to link to it and Andrew Dell'Antonio who is extremely awesome gave me the reminder!  xxoo


  1. I usually don't get all sappy about this sort of stuff, but this post seriously made me misty. You also made me think about the issue from a completely different perspective. Thank you!

  2. Thanks Jessica, what a lovely thing to say!

  3. Thank you for reminding us that the world of disabled people is infinitely wide. And that we, the oldtimers at being disabled and being families of disabled people, have alot of resources and ideas for the newbies (new to disability experiences).

    1. Thanks Corbett! Love seeing your voice on my page! You elevate things to a new level of awesome.