Monday, September 26, 2011

EVERY Once in a While....

Every once in a while, when I watch some random TV show, I find that I am touched in unusual ways. “Biggest Loser” is often inspiring. Any of the “Housewives”, is or are appalling. And, tonight I found Extreme Makeover embarrassing. I was not embarrassed by the show, it was great. It was embarrassing because they built a new place to house homeless women veterans. ABC had to do something for which the Pentagon refuses to take responsibility. They brought to the attention of the public, that there are numbers of women, who at no small emotional or financial cost, served their country.

They paid a visit to the White House, because the First Lady wanted to be involved in the project. Her special project is military families. So there she was, Michelle giving tours and hugs, speeches and even flags. Not that I am cynical about her motives, it was very moving. It would be nice if her involvement continued to bring the much needed public attention to the issue of homeless veterans and assisting families. What happened to the Veteran’s Benefits of yore. As the children of a disabled vet, my brother and I had scholarships to further our education and my parents got a check every month – this continued long after my Pop died. When did the financial support, emotional support, health benefits, and gratitude for those who served, disappear. It seems that rather than find ways to offer ongoing help to the vet, the DOD, is now in the business of finding ways to avoid having to provide support of any kind. Just look at the number of homeless vets, and the vets who are now in the criminal justice system –yes, they are in jail fo any number of reasons – all related to their service.

It was a bit disappointing to see the White House exploited by a commercial TV show. It was uncomfortable to watch Michelle’s appearances as the centerpiece of the program. It was also disconcerting to see the hosts running around on the lawn and insisting they couldn’t build a replica White House without talking to the curator. Many things were a bit over the top. However, the volunteers (local and military) were genuinely committed to helping with the building as well as the mega adjustments these courageous women must make.

Anyway, Whether you disagree with Government policy, it is important to recognize those who served. And even more important to insist that this “entitlement” needs to be protected, nurtured and visible and not with what we have come to know as political “clap trap”. We're just sayin'...Iris

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