I am an active-duty Army lieutenant colonel with over 16 years of service. So far, my Army career has taken me to Hawaii, Washington D.C., Georgia, Kentucky, two locations in Texas, and on two deployments to Iraq for a total of 18 months. I am also a Texan. Upon completing my military service, my husband and I plan to retire in Texas.
Probably the most important thing I can tell you about me is that I am a mother of two precious boys, ages 9 and 5. My 9-year-old has significant disabilities and will need to depend on us for the rest of his life. We have proactively sought out resources for him to ensure he will always have what he needs, and we currently have him on three different Medicaid waitlists in Texas. We're told that it is common to wait up to 15 years for these Medicaid services, and until recently the rules were such that if the Army were to PCS me out of Texas, my son would lose his place in line.
However, in March 2015, I had the amazing opportunity to have a hand in getting a bill passed in Austin that allows special needs family members to keep their place in line if their loved one's military service takes them away from Texas. Knowing there is now a law that protects my son's ability to eventually receive Medicaid services in Texas has given me enormous peace of mind as I look toward another PCS next summer. I am extremely grateful for the role the Defense-State Liaison Office played in helping to bring about meaningful change for families like mine.