First a bit of backgroumd. Holly Knowlton, as she was known at the time, was, like me, a student at Madeira. an exclusive all-girls boarding school in Virginai. owlton, daughter of four star general William Knowlton. She and I were probably in the bottom 1 percent on the popularity scale. We were in Garden Club together, probably because none of the “in” ‘ clubs wanted us.
She was incredibly nice, sweet, but with a backbone of steel.
As the recent scandal with her husband has unfolded, I’ve grown increasingly curious as to what her reaction would be. She is both a child of the 60s and a long history of military service. Would she play the dutiful wife or would she let her passions show?
Over breakfast yesterday, a former PR person asked me what I thought she should do. For someone like me, who has known the agony of infidelity, the obvious answer was to channel the rage. I channeled mine into redecorating my house. Fortunately for Mrs. Petraeus, she has higher purposes. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/petraeus-letter/
For years she has been an advocate for veterans, working to right the incredible wrongs inflicted on today’s veterans by the banks and other financial insitutions who have made the life of so many returning service members a nightmare.
If I were her, I’d use this moment in the spotlight to draw attention to that very cause. Holly is hardly the first, and certainly not the last military wife who has been cheated upon. But unlike us civilians, the rules are different because so much of a military spouse’s financial security is dependent on military status. Mrs. Petraeus is in a perfect position to bring attention to the cause, and at the same time position herself as stronger, better, smarter than her spouse.