I recently attended a United Service Organizations show at Camp Victory, Iraq, because I wanted to hear music from Billy Ray Cyrus, but had to sit through the crudeness and profanities of comedian Dave Attell. I did not attend the other concert, at Camp Liberty, to hear singer Mark Willis because I did not want to be subjected to what I was told were more obscenities from a comedian named Sheryl Underwood.
Is vulgarity the only way to be funny in the modern world? I appreciate that the USO set up free entertainment for the troops but wonder why it provides entertainment that contradicts the Army values. When may a soldier who actually lives the Army values enjoy appropriate entertainment?
Profane speech is punishable [in some cases] under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but is brought to and displayed to our troops. Soldiers are not allowed to view pornography, so it is not provided to them; soldiers are not allowed to drink alcohol, so there is none provided to them; soldiers are not allowed to use profane language, so why provide it to them? How does this instill integrity (legally and morally right) or respect (consideration of others)?
If a parent does not want his child to be overweight, does he provide him meals from McDonald’s every day? This seems like conflicting data and a recipe for a lack of good order and discipline.
The USO ought to re-evaluate its entertainment lineup and provide entertainment that is morally compatible with Army values. Note: These shows were sponsored by senior leadership from the Pentagon.
“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.” — Mark Twain
Staff Sgt. John TaylorCamp Victory, Iraq