JCS Chairman's Wife Featured As Mother's Day 'Power Player'
By Gene Harper
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 8, 2005 Military spouses and servicemembers' mothers "commit their lives as their servicemember does, and loves him because he loves his country," said the wife of the nation's top military officer on a Mother's Day nationwide television appearance today.
Mary Jo Myers, wife of Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, was the special guest for this week's "Power Player" segment on "Fox News Sunday."
"When it comes to caring and compassion and the number of people she helps, we chose pretty well," said show host Chris Wallace in announcing Mrs. Myers as this week's Power Player. "On this Mother's Day, her thoughts are of all the moms whose children are serving in the military or have been lost in combat."
"I think our whole country is more grateful and more indebted than we can express for their service and for their sacrifices," Mrs. Myers said in her special Mother's Day message for military moms.
The top military spouse told Wallace about her wide-ranging experiences and contact with servicemembers with whom she has come into contact in supporting her husband's work and travel around the world in his four years as Joint Chiefs chairman.
She spoke about her visits with wounded troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. "There has not been a time when we have not come away from that experience," she said, excusing her broken-voiced emotion, without "being uplifted and humbled by the spirit that you see with these young men and women."
Wallace recognized the chairman's wife for her work with the Operation Hero Miles project that he said has translated into more than 3 million airline miles and 3,000 plane tickets donated by individuals so that loved ones of wounded troops could visit them during their hospital treatment and rehabilitation.
He also noted her help in organizing U.S. kids to send thousands of Valentine's Day cards to servicemembers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Mrs. Myers told Wallace about one soldier who opened one such envelope and found a coin inside.
"Dear Soldier, this coin has been lucky for me," she recalled the message with it read. "I hope it will be lucky for you too." And, she noted, on such occasions, "you see (the servicemembers) wipe away a tear," she added in an emotion-filled voice.
Mrs. Myers thanked Wallace for recognizing the service of spouses throughout DoD. "It's just a privilege to serve," she said on their behalf.
Wallace conducted part of his interview with the chairman's spouse at the couple's Fort Myers, Va., residence, which overlooks the monument-filled landscape of Washington just across the Potomac River. He said Mrs. Myers said she still remembers the day her home shook on Sept. 11, 2001.
"I went running to the front window," she recalled, "to look at this glorious city and said a prayer that it was still intact." The "thing" she had felt - and was now seeing presumably - was instead the nearby smoke-billowing Pentagon in the aftermath of the terrorist-hijacked passenger jet slamming into it.
Their home, Wallace noted, will be the couple's last base quarters as they prepare for retirement and transition to civilian life this fall after 40 years of military service. She pointed out that the general had missed a lot of the nitty-gritty of military moves over the many years, but she promised "this is one he'll share in."