Friday, October 06, 2006

A sobering moment


Is anybody else SERIOUSLY disturbed by this picture? You'll have to click on it to read the text, but basically the National Guard is making cardboard posters of soldiers for their families. You have got to be joking me, right? "Here son, hope this cardboard cutout will help you not miss your dad. Look, he can push you on the swing and everything! It's like he's not even gone!"

What happens when that soldier dies in combat, like so many others? Do they come and take away the 'Flat Daddy'???

This is absolutely beyond ridiculous. And horrifyingly sad. I hope I am not bringing anybody's Friday down, but I felt this photo was important enough to share.

8 comments:

Bobby said...

From someone who's been that little boy, I've got to disagree with you Amy.

They're not trying to replace anyone. It's only an attempt to bring a tiny bit of comfort to people who are seperated from their family members for so long.

I never really had any photos of my Dad growing up. Sometimes he'd be gone for so long, I'd begin to have a hard time picturing him in my head. That's scary. I remember thinking, what if he doesn't come back and I can't remember him? It's terrible for a kid to go through that.

Having an immediate family member deployed is a very trying and tough time for a family. So much so that it's hard for anyone who hasn't experienced it be able to understand what that wife or husband or child goes through.

When I look at that picture, I see a little boy who's proud of his Dad, who probably wants to grow up to be just like him, and who misses him more than anything in the world, so much so that he brings his cutout with him to play on the swings.

When I look at that picture, all those memories rush back like a flood gate being opened, and it makes me cry.

FroneAmy said...

Bobby-

I hope I didn't offend you with my opinions about this 'program.' I cannot tell you how devastated this picture made me this morning, to think of that little boy swinging next to a cardboard cut out of his father, who has to be away fighting a war that should not be happening. I realize his father made the decision to fight for his country whenever his president deemed it necessary.

I also know it's hard to be family members of someone deployed. My anger is not directed at the National Guard for having this program. My anger is at the fact that I feel VERY strongly that this war is ridiculuos and unnecessary. And it frightens me that we have to give children cut outs of their parents in order for them to remember what they look like.

I know I am hormonal and given to strange emotions these days, but this picture made me cry for very legitimate reasons. And I don't come from a military family. I do come from a broken family, but I know what it's like to miss someone. And I don't think the cutout is a legitimate replacement for that child's father. He needs to be home, and actually sitting on that swing next to the boy, or standing behind him pushing it. Not halfway around the world. End of story. I guess I see it as more of a sad reminder to that child that his father ISN'T home with him, as opposed to a comfort, or a reminder to that child what his father looks like.

I have heard the "Freedom isn't free" speech more than I care to remember. As someone whose partner is fighting that fight HERE IN AMERICA on a daily basis, I am all too aware of it. I just very strongly agree with tearing families apart to fight a personal war that isn't getting anything done but killing innocent men and women, and accomplishing nothing in the world spectrum. I try very hard to not get political on this blog, partly because I don't want to, and partly because it tends to alienate people all too quickly.

I'm sorry if I made your Friday worse. Please understand that my intentions were not to belittle the military families on the receiving end of the cardboard cutout program. I feel worse for them because of this picture.

Bobby said...

Amy,

You didn't offend me and you certainly didn't drive me away. I appreciate you explaining your thinking and opinions in an eloquent manner. I understand why you shy away from speaking of politics on your blog and truthfully, I do the same thing.

You and I have differing opinions on the war but I don't wish to debate that here. As long as you can continue to support your opinons logically, I'll respect you for it. That's the beauty of this Nation; it's okay to question things and stand up and say that you don't agree with something. Unfortunately, all too often we try to just cram our personal thoughts and feelings down another person's throat, all the while telling them "You're wrong. Think like me."

Anyway, I've taken up too much space on your blog as it is. Thanks for allowing me to throw in my 2 cents.

FroneAmy said...

I guess it goes to show how deeply that photo affected me this morning.

Bobby, when you say it's OK to question things, to stand up and say you don't agree...I completely feel the same way. Hearing things like that give me goosebumps the same way hearing the national anthem does. The goofy warm fuzzies I get when a packed stadium of 65,000 people fall silent, stand up and face the flag.

It also makes me feel terribly cold when people that do stand up and disagree get silenced or ridiculed. And it makes me feel terribly cold when I offend someone I consider a friend. If I could sit and buy you a beer to make up for hitting a raw nerve, I would. I was just so upset over that photo when I was reading the news this morning. It broke my heart, so I ranted.

Somebody have a damn beer for me, please? It really ticks me off to not be able to have one.

lugosi said...

The Iraq war is a complete total waste. A waste of money, a waste of resources, and most importantly, a waste of lives. And it's a damn shame what it's doing to our military. Yes, Bobby, our soldiers signed on to go where they are sent. But implicit in that is the trust that our nation's leaders will choose our wars wisely.
Our current leaders have betrayed that trust.

frhe sjgg said...

The whole war and the devastation that accompanies it is very sad...
That little boy should have had his father with him in real life -- and now he can only have cardboard...

Anne Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

lugosi what a statement... "implicit in that is the trust that our nation's leaders will choose our wars wisely". You know, I think it is funny that most people who oppose the war say they are doing it for the troops, or that the troops are being abused by the leaders, etc.

If that was true than maybe the politicians who say that would get more than 10% (or whatever small amount it is) of the military vote? Maybe re-enlistment numbers wouldn't be at record levels if that was the case?

Look, if you want to be negative about the war, then that is fine, do so. But don't hide behind the 'troops', because, by and large, if that was true then the troops would vote Democrat... AND THEY DON'T.

I personally disagree with it for other reasons, but I won't hide behind the soldiers to make my point, and DON'T you do it either.

---

Sorry, had to get that out first. I have been reading Bobby's blog for some time now and I have throught of him as a great standup guy for some time now. This is the first time I saw your blog... at first I saw this post and thought "hrm... strange". Then I read the comment from Bobby at the beginning and I think that is one of the first times that I actually had a tear fall from my face since I watched my own father bleed-out and die in front of me. I'm sure there have been a few times, but I can't remember any.

I don't know... man... with my own son only 5 months old now I seem to be so much more affected by stories involving children and their dads now. I'm getting soft... but by golly there is so much out there that it is hard not to be. I wish that boy well. I wish him well... and I hope he sees his daddy again soon.

FroneAmy said...

I don't hide behind the 'troops' as a goddamn excuse for not agreeing with this war. I'll fucking disagree with it for whatever reason I want, and I will do it repeatedly. You don't have to read my blog if you don't like it.

Ironically, Lugosi's comment isn't hiding behind the troops, either. So your comment is pretty unwarranted and unfounded. If you are going to come on here and attack people, at least do it logically.