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Love it? Or shut it down?

Overly Sensitive Military Wives is satire owner says, but others say it's dangerous

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The accusation - even as outlandish as it was - still cut to the bone.

When one Joint Base Lewis-McChord spouse saw her husband's picture on the Overly Sensitive Military Wives Facebook page proclaiming him as a drill sergeant who "rapes privates," she got boiling mad.

Although the post was a blatant lie and the picture was posted without her consent, the incident lit a fire under the spouse (who did not want to be identified because her husband still serves on active duty) because it delves into a realm that can cause real strife in the lives of military families: post-traumatic stress disorder.

"With all the problems troops have been having with PTSD, putting someone or their spouse on blast like that on Facebook could push someone to suicide," said the 10-year military spouse, whose husband suffers from PTSD.

The page, which had more than 13,000 "likes" as of Tuesday, was created for Servicemembers "so that they could laugh at the ridiculous things some of the crazy mil-wives say and do." It sometimes features unflattering photos of military wives or troops and at times incites lively comment wars that pit those who support the page against those who would like to see it shut down. The OSMW page's administrator, who goes only by "6," said the page isn't meant to hurt anyone, just to address a side of military life some spouses don't acknowledge exists.

"It really isn't a bashing page. It just happens to talk about things that, well, people don't usually talk about so open," 6 wrote in an email to The Ranger. "Because of that, it seems so harsh. No one wants to hear about the cheating, the money spending above means (sic), the abuse of Tricare, and all that. Unfortunately, it's a real part of the military ‘life.'"

Six, who identifies herself only as being "affiliated with the military," said the page was created as a place where "likeminded people could come and gain laughs and enjoy."

She also thinks the negativity toward the page is somewhat overblown.

"To be honest, a lot of the negative things are kind of silly," she said. "Others have blogged, even YouTubed, about the page. We've read we eat babies and I've seen the nickname ‘soulless six.' People tend to react without really seeing the page as a whole. Sure, some people might post or comment which some see as ‘rude,' but over all the satire is what the page really came from. Most of the people posting are indeed military, or married to someone in the military. But no one likes to be labeled something. Much less something that isn't ‘pretty.'"

Reaction to the site from other JBLM spouses is varied.

"The site itself actually perpetuates the very stereotype that military wives are freeloaders with nothing better to do but sit around and watch TV and play on the Internet all day," wrote spouse Lin Dehart Robertson in an email. "How can they say it's all in fun when, in fact, they are bashing and bullying other spouses?"

"I am for all good fun, (but) I do draw the line when people are being put down for the way they look or how ‘big' they are," wrote spouse Stephanie Pisano.

"A few times I will admit some of the stuff made me want to laugh a little," added Marissa Cabani Sikder. "Most of the time though the site made me sick to my stomach."

Department of Defense and Army officials have yet to issue an official statement on the site (a request for comment from The Ranger was not answered as of press time) and any consequences that might come from slandering troops or their family members in cyberspace.

"The Army needs to get involved," said the spouse whose husband was slandered. "PTSD is not something you want to mess with. One post could send a trigger."

A movement directed from the top to shut down the page for good and prosecute "6" under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (because 6 is a Soldier, the JBLM spouse said) could perhaps save lives and a lot of unneeded anguish, she said.

"(The page) is more harmful than good."

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