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Giving Thanks

May all pass this day amongst loved ones.  And for those who can't, may their reunion be as heartfelt as HER's.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Boq

8 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!
 

Love the video, thanks for making my eyes all misty.  I'm thankful for the Master Sgt and his family, and all our amazing service men & women!

 
That was cruel and unbelievably inconsiderate!  I'm sure the girl was thrilled beyond words to see her Dad, but it should not have been done like that.  I get why people would think that's great, but all I saw was something stupidly done for the sake of a misguided notion of gift-giving!  It wasn't about the girl, it was about the people who planned it, who gave little or no consideration to consequences!  What they videotaped and put out there for everyone to ooh and ahh over was not immense joy, but the death of fear, the collapse of walls of uncertainty, the destruction of the facade of bravery she had been wearing the whole time her father was gone.  Her reaction was not so much joy at seeing him, as it was extreme relief at seeing him alive!   Something very different!

And what about the other children in the room.  This is an Air Force Base!  Children aren't mature enough, generally, to be glad for a peer's relief when they are living thier own versions of daily fear for their parents.  I can't imagine there wasn't another child in the room whose mother or father was deployed at the time.  Yeah, I bet they got a kick out of that too.

I am truly thriiled for the girl, really.  The people who executed that should be ashamed of themselves.

 
I see both sides of this, Sanger.  It especially depends on the individual child.

Having *been* that kid, back in 1969, this didn't bother me like it did you.  And while my experience of the military family from this perspective is admittedly well aged, my experience is that we all knew what tings like this meant, because we'd all been there or were going to be soon, and we knew someone who was in that position.

Sometimes, it's important for the kids - all the kids - to see the parents coming home safe.  Because believe me, we *all* knew about the ones that didn't.
 
I didn't see this so negatively SangerM though I am not so sure about making the video public.  It's like a sale of emotion.  I will grant you that this was less about joy and more about relief.

I'm not with you regarding the children.  I understand all too well the desire to protect kids but this is not a situation for it.


 

John, Argent, I understand your points.  In 1967, I was 11.  My step-father had been in the hospital for almost 2 years on and off with what was ultimately diagnosed as a giant brain tumor.  He went away to have that operated on and did not come home.  We were not really in the loop, didn't really understand how serious it was, but I took the phone call that he'd died--my mother was out talking to funeral homes. 

Unlike you, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on the tack you take here), this was not a common experience and afterwards, no one of my friends knew what to say to me--hell, none of my elder family except my Grandpop said much useful to me ....  It was not a supportive envrionment, to be sure.

That said, I think I can say I get how strong kids can be, Argent, but my reaction was not about protecting kids as much as about consideration.  Kids are strong, but they don't know a lot, and they run on an awful lot of guesswork--still trying to figure things out.  I don't go for over-protecting children, but they don't have the tools to cope the way adults do, they don't have the experiences and can't articulate as well (usually) what they're dealing with.

John makes good points, and I can agree given his perspective and experience.  I do get that sometimes kids need to see a parent come home, even someone else's, but that classroom with all the video cameras and news coverage, etc., was not the place for that, IMO.  She didn't know.  She could have had a much worse reaction and it wouldn't have mattered, 'cause the cameras would have kept rolling anyway.   The Randolph school should not have allowed that, but I know how PAOs think....  Good PR, but I'd bet the thought processes never ventured more than OPR bullets beyond that thought.... 

All I could see through the filters of my own baggage was the initial moment of joy, followed by the other stuff.  It was very painful for me to watch.  I can't help but wonder how the Dad feels about that moment and whether or not he would do it that way again.  Maybe I'll see if I can find him and ask.

 

 
I'm not sure I'd take it as far as Sanger, but that was a powerfully intimate moment, one I'm not sure how I feel about sharing as an observer.  Her face alone could be enough for most who didn't know her to surmise the emotion and the falling of walls Sanger refers to, but her father's tone of voice confirms everything merely guessed from seeing her face.  She goes from cool and detached "....and my father's in Iraq" teen/preteen to helpless child in her father's arms... in about five seconds.  Powerful stuff. 

Perhaps I come with my own set of baggage regarding father-daughter relationships (especially after being sensitized to the issue by Sanger's statements berore I saw the video), but that's more emotional intimacy and emotional truth than I'd be willing to share with the world were I in that girl's position.   Deeply raw and intimate.
 
Thanks for putting it into perspective both of you.  I can now see clearly where you are coming from.