Reality Check: On Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and America’s Military

Posted: March 26, 2011 in Afghan War, Celebrities, Iraq War, Terrorism
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The following is taken from a Marine Corps. Blog written by Sgt. Priscilla Sneden.  It’s a poignant piece about the reality of our world and the fact that folks seem to care more about celebrities than American War dead.   Thanks to my friend Jax for turning me on to this piece and to all the men and women who have served our country.

In the past few weeks, Charlie Sheen’s public antics have created yet another Hollywood media frenzy. Every major news organization has covered the star’s breakdown. He has more than 2.8 million followers on Twitter and his Good Morning America Interview has more than 7.8 million views on YouTube.

While I love entertainment news, as much as the next 23-year-old, it disturbs me that Americans seem to be more intrigued by Hollywood happenings than the fact that OUR service members are still engaged in two wars and humanitarian operations across the globe.

There are currently more than 42,000 soldiers in Iraq. As our combat role in the nation draws to a close, the U.S. Army continues to advise, train, and equip Iraqi Security Forces, enabling them to provide for internal security while building a foundation to defend against external threats.

According to the International Security Assistance Force there are 90,000 U.S. service members supporting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. About 24,000 are Marines, conducting counterinsurgency operations in partnership with the government to protect the Afghan people, develop the Afghan National Security Force capabilities, and support improved governance and economic development.

We have thousands more Marines and Sailors embarked on Navy vessels guarding the seas – equipped and ready to respond to threats any place in the world.

Now, let’s put things into perspective. More than 130,000 Americans are in combat zones right now – they are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters- yet we are concerned with why Lindsay Lohan is back in court?

Prior to becoming a Marine, someone told me “only military appreciates military.”  While I think the statement is a bit harsh, it’s partly based on truth.  The fact that America would rather know about the next tinsel town scandal supports the idea.

It is no secret that the civil unrest in the North African nation of Libya is worsening, as forces loyal to Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi and Libyan rebels clash violently. Marines with the 26th Expeditionary Marine Unit were directed by the Department of Defense to help evacuate Egyptians, who fled to the Tunisian border from Libya.

In an American Forces Press article released last week, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO strongly condemned the use of force against the Libyan people. What NATO will decide from this point and what our role will be in Libya is way above my pay grade. But as a sergeant of Marines I can say I’d rather know about what is going on in the daily lives of my fellow service members than where the cast of Jersey Shore is headed next.

There is nothing real about reality television. You want reality? Ask a Marine, Sailor, solider or airman.

From the New York Times, a list of some of the brave Americans who have given their life in the service of their country during this year.  Please take a moment and think about their sacrifice and the impact of their deaths on their family.  It would be a good moment to also appreciate your own family.

HINKLE, Michael J. II, 24, Senior Airman, Air Force; Corona, Calif.; 28th Communications Squadron.

ACOSTA, Rudy A., 19, Pfc., Army; Canyon Country, Calif.; Fourth Squadron, Second Stryker Cavalry.

McDANIEL, Mecolus C., 33, Staff Sgt., Army; Fort Hood, Tex.; First Infantry Division.

MEIS, Christopher S., 20, Lance Cpl. Marines; Bennett, Colo.; Second Marine Division.

MICKLER, Donald R. Jr., 29, Cpl., Army; Bucyrus, Ohio; Fourth Squadron, Second Stryker Cavalry.

RODRIGUEZ, Arturo E., 19 Pfc., Army; Bellflower, Calif; 101st Airborne Division

TOMPKINS, Travis M., 31, Staff Sgt., Army; Lawton, Okla.; 10th Mountain Division.

ALDEN, Nicholas J., 25, Senior Airman, Air Force; Williamston, S.C.; 48th Security Forces Squadron.

STANTON, Jordan R., 20, Cpl., Marines; Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; Second Marine Division.

WEAVER, Jason M., 22, Specialist, Army; Anaheim, Calif.; 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade.

WELLS, Mark C., 31, Staff Sgt., Army; San Jose, CA.; 45th Sustainment Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

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