I often write about service to our country and support for the military, which takes many forms. In response to some recent columns about journalists, actors and other public figures who have offered their support, here’s what readers have to say:
Thank you for a beautifully written article (Spouse Calls, April 17) about a man so many of us admired. At a time when sensationalism and Hollywood gossip sadly passes itself off – and is widely accepted – as journalism, it's important to have an occasional reality check on what true journalism looks like. I can think of no better example than Ernie Pyle, and if a single reader's curiosity is aroused to want to get to know the man and what he represented, then I'm very grateful to you. Please continue your excellent articles. You have yourself a fan out here.
-- Enrique J. Rivera, FOB Ghazni, Afghanistan
As an Army officer turned Army spouse, I enjoy reading “Spouse Calls” in Stars and Stripes. The column about the Joining Forces initiative (Spouse Calls, May 8) caught my eye. I first checked out the Joining Forces website with interest after having the opportunity last month to talk with Mrs. Deanie Dempsey about military spouse employment.
Mrs. Dempsey accompanied her husband (General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ) on a trip to Europe and took the time to meet with military spouses stationed here. She highlighted two recent and ongoing successes of the initiative: legislation passed by 19 states easing the transfer of professional licenses held by military spouses who move due to a PCS and the incorporation of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury training into the curriculum of over 100 medical schools training students for civilian practice. If you ask me, these are pretty solid achievements that go beyond public relations in their support of both military spouses and veterans.
As a spouse at the battalion level, it is encouraging to know that spouses at the joint and executive levels of leadership are actively advocating on our behalf.
-- Inga Brown, Wiesbaden, Germany
I have to concur with your assessment (Spouse Calls, May 22) and concern regarding Hollywood's newfound enthusiasm for the military. My first reaction after seeing the celebrities who now sport a golden “6”: Aren't these the same individuals who refuse to wear an American flag on their lapel?
I hope this initiative is impactful. Certainly the need is there. Past behavior, however, is not encouraging.
-- Jo Rozier, USMC (Ret)
I am also skeptical because where were these people when George Bush was president? I don't remember a lot of these people touting their love of the military then and I can assure you that Jon Bon Jovi didn't do a darn thing for the military during the eight years of the Bush presidency. I'm sorry but I don't think they're sincere.
I don't watch Oprah Winfrey Network, so I'll miss the (“Married to the Army: Alaska”) show, and since I could barely sit through a half-hour of those idiot “Housewives of Somewhere,” I won't watch the military one either.
I guess these "beautiful people" think most of us are pretty stupid.
-- Catherine Sterling
It's really easy to ease your conscience for not serving your country by slapping on a lapel pin. However, aside from Jon Bon Jovi, who may simply have become more enlightened, I can name Al Franken and Stephen Colbert among the horrid liberals who supported the military even during the Bush years.
I fail to understand how a man who used his father's connections to get into the National Guard rather than serve in Vietnam and who squandered the lives and fortune of a nation by entering two disastrous wars can be considered genuinely supportive of the military while Jon Bon Jovi, who does in fact donate millions to veteran's organizations is vilified as insincere. A man is known by his actions. I'll take Bon Jovi's actions.