Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Military Escort Service - Sound Off - To Be Seen or Not To Be Seen?

Yesterday I talked about a new HBO film that provides a glimpse into the world of the military escort process. I thought the timing of the film is almost perfect - as the new vice president has a very specific opinion on the transparency of the military escort process.

As I mentioned before, the process is not something that is typically discussed or seen by the civilian world. Our new VP feels that this is something that needs to change and that our nation should see, in many reporter's words, "the true cost of war."

As a military brat, I have unique feelings about this. If, heaven forbid, the situation ever happened to me, I would not want the world to be witness to it. It's a process that should be for the family only. For instance, no other deaths (besides presidents, celebrities, etc) get showcased for the world to see. I would feel that it would be such an invasion of privacy and I would be angry that my loved one, after giving the ultimate sacrifice to their country, could be exploited by the media. I'm sorry, but that is how I feel.

In addition, someone I love very dearly has had intense experiences with these situations. One of my best friends used to work for the USO in Dover, DE. Not only was she responsible for sending troops over to the land of sand, but she was also responsible for being there to assist the families when they came home in flag draped coffins. Time and time again, I remember how she told me she felt. How the family would react. How her heart felt like it would shatter into a million pieces every time. She was so strong, for those families, in their darkest hour. And she did it out of respect, but after many years it took a toll on who she was and had to move on. I will forever admire her for her dedication to the nation and the military service. I would never be strong enough to do that. Ever.

So maybe you can see how this is not something I think that should be put on display for all of America. Burials in Arlington aren't. And it's not like our nation doesn't know - - - soldiers names are splashed across every major newspaper when this goes down. You can't seem to turn on the news or read anything in print that doesn't have that cold headline that rocks you to your core. Some things should be private.

And overall, I think about the military families whose loved ones are currently deployed. The military families that are waiting for them to come home. Who have a yellow ribbon tied around their heart. Bearing witness to their husbands/wives/fathers/daughters/sons/etc comrades would take a toll on their spirits. Aren't their families sacrificing enough already?

Your turn to sound off - what's your stance? How do you think you'd feel if the media starts covering these situations? Do you feel that its something your entitled to see? Why?

1 comment:

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