Wounded warrior’s wife targeted on “Dependa” shaming pages

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In the last 24 hours, more than 60,000 people clicked on NewsChannel 3's story about "dependa" shaming.

One of them was Felicia Brown from Texas.

She contacted our station--after seeing her own picture on TV.

“Why me, what did I do?”

Brown says she was targeted by the Facebook page "Dear Dependa" at the beginning of April, after her picture was sent in by a woman she chatted with on a Fort Hood yard sale forum.

“She was trying to sell her truck for $13,000 and her engine was broken, so I told her I wasn’t interested, and she flipped out, saying “I’m going to send your picture to ‘Dear Dependa,’” said Brown.

The next morning, a photo appeared, taken off what she thought was her private Facebook page, showing her eating a cupcake at her baby shower.

The reason they called her a “dependa” wasn't just the weight, but also because of her tattoo—“Dear Dependa" frequently shames wives who get military tattoos when they have never actually served.

Felicia says hers is different.

“It’s a cavalry patch. It says ‘Cav Wife,’ because my husband got injured in Iraq.”

Her husband Chris is a wounded warrior, who earned a purple heart after being blown up by a roadside bomb.

He suffers from severe TBI, PTSD and memory loss...and as his sole caretaker after he was medically retired, Felicia got the tattoo in honor of him.

“It represents something my husband loved,” said Brown.

Chris himself even tried to reason with “Dear Dependa” admins.

“I went on there and posted that she takes care of me, she is not a dependa,” said Brown. “Words can’t really describe how I feel about my wife. I would have nothing if it wasn’t for her. When I met her I was getting out of the military…severely alcoholic, mixing it with my meds, looking for a way out, and she brought me back,” said Brown.

He didn't succeed in getting her picture taken down, but Chris hopes some good comes from telling their story.

“My goal was just to bring awareness, that some of these comments are not appropriate.”

Bullying or Fun? Military spouses go to battle over “Dependa” on Facebook


  • Active

    It’s shameless that society has come to this point. Social media bullying is no different then face to face bullying. Society really needs to understand that spouses serve just as much as the active duty person. I am a Wife, Mother and Soldier, when I’m away for long periods of time I know that my family suffers ( probably more so than I) so let’s get it together people. We are not out here fighting and risking our lives for the stupidness.

    • Jen

      I cannot believe people think adults can be bullied. You’re an adult, act like it. Log off Facebook, have the self control to not look at the pages you don’t like when you do log in. It’s pretty simple. Don’t want the world to see it, don’t post it or change your privacy settings.

      Wives do NOT serve with their husbands. I have been an AF wife for nearly 5 years, not once have I been asked to go on a TDY, Deploy or even so much as look at an AFI. I am not enlisted, I do not put on a uniform I have not earned.

      The women who think they are entitled to put on uniforms and claim they serve too, need a serious dose of reality and should be presented with a contract and a basic training date.

      I am so tired of getting a bad wrap for being a military wife because of the ‘depends’ who give us a bad name. I am just really tired of it.

      • June

        The Depends? Like the diaper? Jen, you have to understand basic psychology to understand that these pages are shameful and are bullying when targeting one single person. In fact, all you need to do is use a little bit of google and intelligence. The fact is that if you log off social media and turn off the computer, the bullying still continues. And what is this nonsense that adults can’t be bullied? They can bully, right? So therefore they can also be victimized. Just because you are a fan of this smut doesn’t make it right in any sense. I find that most women like you that think you are all big and bad and sticking it to that stereotype of a WIFE WHOSE HUSBAND SERVES IN A BRANCH OF THE MILITARY (not Army wife or Navy, Airforce, Marine wife) are the ones who cause problems and discord within the military community both online and in real life.

    • AD-HM

      HahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You.dont.serve…unless you were prior active duty. Get that thrugh your skull.

  • Jason Austin

    Wives do not serve, they are not the silent ranks. They support the soldier but that’s it. Besides people throw “bullying” around way to much these days. Wives wouldn’t be getting slammed if they acted like wives and not all entitled to anything because of the soldier.

  • amrioth

    Seriously?!? Wives serve just as much as soldiers? How? I am appalled that anyone can think that way!!! As the daughter, granddaughter, and wife to service members I am ashamed of the spouse community for becoming so self centered and obsessed with themselves as to think they deserve anything or are special because they married a service member. Sweetheart, when you go out and get shot at, when you spend weeks at basic training/boot camp, when you sign away out rights to preserve this great nation THEN you can say you serve just as much as a service member. I do not *deserve* any special considerations or rights because I chose to support my husband when he signed up with the USAF, I’m doing my job as a wife and a mother, the same exact job thousands of wives and mothers do who are NOT married to service members.

  • Gina S.

    You left out that OSMW was shut down once before and then she started the new current page. She also used to put faces and names out, and people were being harassed off line.

    • Jen D

      I’m sorry but Six NEVER told anyone to go ” Harass” people off line. If anything, she tells people to NOT do so. I swear, you (General you), sensitive spouses think she has mind control over everyone. We are all adults and if you post something online, it becomes public knowledge. If you do something stupid or “dependa” worthy then you deserve to be put on blast. No one is bullied and no one says you have to read it. There’s this new thing in the right hand corner of your page. It looks kind of like an x in a little box. If you click it, all of the “bad” stuff magically disappears

  • Jessica

    People are so annoying getting butt hurt over the dependa thing. I’m a military wife and dependa doesn’t bother me, these pages don’t bother me, and people classifying all military wives as dependa doesn’t bother me. You wanna know what does bother me? The people that keep the dependa name alive.
    THINKING you serve when you don’t, wearing you husband’s rank because you believe you share the rank, thinking you’re some kind of god/goddess because you’re a military S.O, hoping your S.O deploys so you guys have more money despite the obvious dangers your S.O would be in, twisting and manipulating the system of benefits so you can get the benefits you don’t really need, walking into places asking for a military discount because your S.O is in the military, cheating on your S.O every time you get the chance because you don’t really care about them you care about what you get from being with them, dropping your kids off at day care using the money your S.O is getting from being deployed or going to drill so you can have “you time” 5 days a week, and I’m sure there’s more the above is just what I’ve witnessed, is what keeps the dependa title alive.
    I’ve been married for 4 years. I don’t know the first thing about military benefits, I don’t sport my husband’s badges or rank, I don’t think I’m in the military because he is, I’ve never cheated on him because… well… I ACTUALLY love him! Imagine that people still get married for love. Shocking I know… And I’d rather be poor as hell living in his car than have him deploy. It’s not my choice on if he does or not, it’s the military’s choice. BUT if I did have a choice he would never deploy.
    So stop getting pissed off at these pages, mostly OSMW who don’t target all military S.O like some people do, just dependas, open your freaking eyes, put 2 and 2 together, and realize…. the title dependa is around for a reason. Calling the news isn’t going to change that… however… NOT being a dependa could.

  • Stephanie B.

    You people are ridiculous. Who are you to judge, make fun of, or ridicule anyone?
    if a spouse has an ACU purse, brag bag, stickers on her car..etc. how does
    any of that affect YOU?
    How does it impact your life in ANY way?
    It doesn’t, and it’s none of your business. Grow up & stay in your own lane…children.

    • Jen D

      And who are you to chastise complete strangers? You’re preaching about not judging but you are being judgemental. Pot meet kettle . I could ask you the same, “How does it impact your life in ANY way?”

    • glenda

      Stephanie B. Exactly my thought. I don’t understand what pleasure they get from judging other wives based on what they wear, what they do and what tattoo they got. A military spouse can put a tatto across her face with her/his spouse rank. And why would anybody care. It is obviously none of our business. These people act as if the so called spouses they ridiculed personally hurt them or asked some kind of financial help from them..If this website really want to make a difference. Help them in a positive way. Do something life changing that will empower spouses who are really in need of help. Obviously the organizer and the followers have a lot of time under their sleeves. If you have all the time in the world taking pictures, trolling others, commenting. Certainly you also have the time to do something postive in a more educated and civilized way.

      • Vet

        @Glenda its the spouses who think they are entitled to thing they are NOT. Like salutes. NO. I DO NOT CARE WHAT RANK YOUR MIL SPOUSE IS, IF YOU ARE A CIVILIAN, WHICH ALL NON MILITARY SPOUSES ARE, THEN YOU ARE NOT GETTING A FREAKING SALUTE. Civilian spouses do NOT serve. Never been deployed. Your sexual “deprivation” does not protect my freedoms. And there is no such job as “military wife.” Get your own identities and then maybe people wouldn’t view spouses in such a negative way. Stop crying.

        • Stephanie B.

          “Only dependas get angry over dependas being outed”

          That comment shows your lack of intelligence & imagination..
          “Ugh..if you dont agree with my opinion then you MUST be a dependa”.. because original thought does not exist right?..and YOU make fun of OTHERS?…WOW.

  • Stephanie B.

    The people who are doing damage to the Military Spouse’s “reputation”..is not the women who have “proud Army..etc wife” on their cars, tattood on them, or who take pictures of themselves in their husband’s uniform.

    It’s the men & women who are so petty, they go out of their way to take pictures of these women, name call, degrade, & liken them to animals. Who spend so much of their time pouring hate out on to a person whom they do not know, & has not done a single thing to them.
    Do you not understand that it is you who is the joke? You who is the shame of the Military community?…NOT these young women who are so proud of their spouses & the service & sacrifice they give for their country.

    As a woman who has been married to a service member for over 17 years, I am ashamed of those who bully these young women.

    • Kat

      You are wrong on that one Stephanie. Yeah, the proud wife stickers and tattoos aren’t damaging to the community but pictures of spouses in uniform are. It is incredibly disrespectful to wear a uniform that they 1) did not earn and 2) can’t or won’t wear properly. It is tacky and makes all wives look bad.

      Also, the pages call people out on a lot more than just tattoos, stickers and uniforms. They call out the bad behavior of those who cheat, tag chase, wear rank and overall have an “everybody owes me something because I married a service member” attitude. It is that type of behavior that makes us all look bad, not calling people out on it. Get mad at those who engage in it, not those who denounce it.

      • Stephanie B.

        @ Kat.. 1. Her wearing her husnands uniform does NOT change anything in YOUR life.
        2. It is none of your business.

  • james@pes.com

    Oh COMON! She didn’t even know him WHEN he was in the Military. He said in the video, we met when I was getting out! Shes a FAKE DEPENDA.

  • felicia

    my husband and i started dating while he was in the military. he got out a few months later. my point of all of this was, i don’t fit that “dependa” term. In the 4 1/2 years we have been together I have been the one that worked. I’m the one currently working my butt off to enlist in the military, just like my grandfather who was also Cav. Just because a wife supports her husband and chooses to show it doesn’t give anyone the right to belittle her, ridicule her, bully her, whatever you want to call it… i don’t shop at the px or the commissary, in fact i avoid post altogether unless i’m taking my husband to an appointment. I don’t buy coach bags or michael kors or whatever kind of stupidly priced purses these people buy, in fact I think it’s stupid to spend that much money on a purse. why should anyone judge me for supporting my husband? if he didn’t like it, trust me i would know by now. he loves all that i do for him. he loves that i take care of him and the things he needs. people just assume things based on knowing nothing, and they need to realize that it can affect people in a negative way. i’m a college graduate. i plan on pursuing my master’s in psychology specializing in dissociative disorders, so it’s not like i’m stupid. I don’t act like the world owes me something just because my husband served. i don’t use military discounts none of that. but all they saw was that i had a tattoo for my husband, they don’t know who or how i really am.

    • felicia

      also, i never once claimed that i served because he served. never once said I deserve anything because of his service. that’s HIS service. I just know how much cav meant to him, and still means to him, and wanted to show him that i was in this for the long haul. i love him and i’m not going anywhere.

  • Melissa

    Wow all this hate ,americans we dont need enemies here when we have so many out in the world and they dont care what your status is military or not they just hate all americans and you are all shameing because of hatred of your own citizens against the people you should stand next to so many people have fought for our rights including speech , why … to help our enemies divide us no one is perfect so why do we hate on our fellow americans what good does it do

  • Tom

    No, you can’t get a job because you can’t spell. What is a rasisms? The fact that you are the only person here who even thought to use a person’s skin color makes YOU the racist.

  • Glenda

    @ all Overly Angry Dependa Haters :-) (OADH). Borrowing some of your wordings. Stop being angry and concern about every little stuff that is not even significant or affecting your lives. Stop assuming that just because Felicia has a Cav tattoo supporting her veteran/injured spouse she automatically should be hated,judged,picture posted and bashed. Look deeply into your lives. If you are happy with your life, military spouse loving you and your kids are doing well, dependent or not. You should be okay and happy and content with life. What else will matter? The spouse of an officer demanding a salute? Just laugh it off. The fat spouse with kids in tow at the Px/Commissary? Why would it even matter? Why does it even define us as spouses of military. Intelligent people don’t stereotype just because they saw a handful doing something undesirable. Since Busch Gardens is now open , let’s all ride the scariest ride without straps if you need to. Shout it off, curse , F**k you officer’s wife that needs salute!F**k you all unnecessary concerns. Get it done and over with. And let us all MOVE ON. Have a blessed day!

  • Carmen

    Wow, there’s a whole lot of crazy, judgmental, whack jobs posting here. People really think it’s their or their facespace personas responsibility to point out every little detail of other’s lives that they don’t agree with? Some people need to grow in to their big girl panties. Seems like just a lot of immature “mean girl” silliness to me.

  • Mary

    You, as a spouse, do/did NOT serve. Don’t say “we served”. It is very irritating to actual veterans. I’m a wife and was formerly mil-mil before becoming a wounded warrior myself. Being a wife is just that – being a wife. You are annoying to the point of becoming infuriating with your claims of “service” so please just stop.

  • chris

    Just wanted to say as a medically retired veteran dependas are pathetic and the lowest form of scum on this earth. They marry into the military then act like they have done so much! Who fought the war? Who got up at 0500 and didn’t get home till 1930 daily? Who left everything they knew and loved to go to a country where everyone hates them? That’s right not the spouse. I was married to a dependa who on our separation promptly told me I am going to stay here (fort bliss) to get a soldier… mind you I have 2 young children with her and both families are from the north. Dependas are worse than a loan shark… All they do is take your money, cause you hell, and it’s always all about them…. oh Btw for you that don’t know what tsgli is, it’s a insurance policy that is for soldiers who were hurt and had to have serious medical treatment… Ya my x dependa scum actually tried to take it in court stating she is entitled to it because she had to worry about me. Flat out pathetic. Dependas are well known to all military personnel and if u actually talk to the service member not the spouse you’ll hear all about how pathetic they are

  • Laura Eddings Parry

    The admins at Dear Dependa will remove photos if they are asked nicely. I am more than willing to bet that the woman from this story (and her husband) probably flipped out on one of the administrators which led to their photo(s) not being removed. The page clearly states that if you want a photo removed all you have to do is ask nicely. Ask Mrs. or Mr. Brown for a transcript of their conversations and I am pretty sure neither will oblige because they probably weren’t nice about it at all. What people need to realize is that as soon as you post a photo sites like Facebook or Instagram they immediately become public domain. This is common sense. You no longer own the photo 100%. If you do not want people using your photos then change your privacy settings, keep your friends close, and stop posting on social media every time you do something and take a photo of it. I understand in today’s society people have a needless obsession with documenting every facet of their lives and sharing it all with complete strangers the world across and it’s these people who need to understand that they really can’t complain when something like this happens. Stop sharing your photos and stop acting like children and this will no longer be a problem. Lastly, shame on you, WTKR for indulging these people. After living at three military installations and growing up in a military family I can honestly say this is indeed a problem and it’s exactly why the enlisted divorce rate is much higher than civilian divorce rates. You have a lot of uneducated young women and men getting married for the wrong reasons (BAH being the biggest one) and they rarely last more than five or so years. Not only that but they document it all for the world to see and go toe to toe with people they don’t even know online just because they can. It’s a disgusting thing and it is seriously unbecoming. The women complaining about being called “dependas” (a term I actually loathe but whatever, it really doesn’t affect me) are usually the ones stirring the pot.

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