Sunday, December 25, 2005

Just Thinking This

I have this friend who served in Vietnam and when Bob Hope died he told me that seeing him saved his life (sanity) and I was wondering what the troops have to look forward to now. I remember all the specials, the jokes and the smiles on the troops faces. Now they are shuttle off to the back of nowhere, forgotten and unappreciated. Have our stars become so selfish that they can't understand how that momentary flash of normalcy can help someone to face atrocities that they should never be involved in? I don't support the war but I do support the troops. Leaving them behind, alone and forgotten, is not my idea of support.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Stars turn backs on America's troops in Iraq
During world war two American troops away from home for Christmas were entertained by Marlene Dietrich, Bing Crosby and the Marx Brothers. Even in Vietnam Bob Hope was guaranteed to put in an appearance. But soldiers in Iraq are more likely to get a show from a Christian hip-hop group, a country singer you have probably never heard of and two cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys. Just as the seemingly intractable nature of the war has led to a growing recruitment crisis, so the United Services Organisation, which has been putting on shows for the troops since the second world war, is struggling to get celebrities to sign up for even a short tour of duty. It is a far cry from the days following the September 11 2001 attacks, when some of the biggest names in show business, from Jennifer Lopez to Brad Pitt, rallied to the cause. "After 9/11 we couldn't have had enough airplanes for the people who were volunteering to go," Wayne Newton, the Las Vegas crooner who succeeded Bob Hope as head of USO's talent recruiting effort, told USA Today. "Now with 9/11 being as far removed as it is, the war being up one day and down the next, it becomes increasingly difficult to get people to go."

They deserve better.

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