Exploiting our servicemen

A disgusting and shameless commercial came on while I was enjoying a cup of coffee recently, one of several employing actors in camouflage military uniforms (sans official insignia, etc.) to sell products, in this case automobiles.  It appears that the companies and their advertising hacks want to tap into the recent support for our military to convey that purchasing whatever they are selling is somehow patriotic.

As a veteran, watching the nation embrace its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines is uplifting.  During another unpopular war, that was definitely not the case.  Today, as during the past 15 years, we observe genuine expressions of support and gratitude.  Consequently, the esteem in which our military is held has risen.  Unfortunately, there are those seeking to capitalize upon this hard earned esteem for their own political or commercial purposes.

One of the most disgusting examples of using members of the military for rank political purposes occurred when Mrs. Obama appeared by video during the broadcast of the 2013 Oscars.  Why, pray tell, was it necessary for more than a half-dozen uniformed military officers to stand behind her?  There was no reason other than pure political theater.  It is not certain what is more blatantly abhorrent – this political grandstanding with military officers serving as potted plants behind the first lady or the commercialization of our nation’s esteem for the men and women in uniform.

There are far too many commercials seeking to tug at America’s heartstrings by incorporating a military-themed homecoming.  If the intent is to publicly recognize and honor our servicemen during their deployments away from home and family, if the intent is to publicly recognize and honor the sacrifice of the families of our deployed servicemembers, there are better ways to do so.  Using the imagery of a camouflage-wearing servicemember coming home for Christmas, replete with the face of an actress portraying a tearful mother, to sell a car, beer, or anything else is just wrong.

This crass commercialization actually demeans our men and women in uniform and their families.  Perhaps this was not the intent, but it is the result.  Perhaps it can be assumed that those dreaming up such commercials are not veterans, and they were not deployed overseas when their first children were born.  And they did not miss birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas celebrations.  With less than one half of one percent of our nation serving in uniform, it is not surprising when these commercials hit the airwaves.

A disgusting and shameless commercial came on while I was enjoying a cup of coffee recently, one of several employing actors in camouflage military uniforms (sans official insignia, etc.) to sell products, in this case automobiles.  It appears that the companies and their advertising hacks want to tap into the recent support for our military to convey that purchasing whatever they are selling is somehow patriotic.

As a veteran, watching the nation embrace its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines is uplifting.  During another unpopular war, that was definitely not the case.  Today, as during the past 15 years, we observe genuine expressions of support and gratitude.  Consequently, the esteem in which our military is held has risen.  Unfortunately, there are those seeking to capitalize upon this hard earned esteem for their own political or commercial purposes.

One of the most disgusting examples of using members of the military for rank political purposes occurred when Mrs. Obama appeared by video during the broadcast of the 2013 Oscars.  Why, pray tell, was it necessary for more than a half-dozen uniformed military officers to stand behind her?  There was no reason other than pure political theater.  It is not certain what is more blatantly abhorrent – this political grandstanding with military officers serving as potted plants behind the first lady or the commercialization of our nation’s esteem for the men and women in uniform.

There are far too many commercials seeking to tug at America’s heartstrings by incorporating a military-themed homecoming.  If the intent is to publicly recognize and honor our servicemen during their deployments away from home and family, if the intent is to publicly recognize and honor the sacrifice of the families of our deployed servicemembers, there are better ways to do so.  Using the imagery of a camouflage-wearing servicemember coming home for Christmas, replete with the face of an actress portraying a tearful mother, to sell a car, beer, or anything else is just wrong.

This crass commercialization actually demeans our men and women in uniform and their families.  Perhaps this was not the intent, but it is the result.  Perhaps it can be assumed that those dreaming up such commercials are not veterans, and they were not deployed overseas when their first children were born.  And they did not miss birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas celebrations.  With less than one half of one percent of our nation serving in uniform, it is not surprising when these commercials hit the airwaves.