I live in the Washington, D.C. area, so national news is often local news. As I was listening to the radio this morning I heard that the President will be visiting wounded recovering troops at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. It continued with the comment that the last time he visited there was 2009.
I have tried very hard to give this President my support and my prayers. I am less patient with his minions and supporters who contrast everything he does (GOOD) with everything the prior president did (BAD). No president is all good or all bad. But ... let me share with you something that the military community in Washington DC knows that many civilians would find hard to believe.
When he was in town, George W. Bush visited with wounded troops at NNMC and Walter Reed almost weekly. No press was allowed. No photos except if the soldier wanted one taken by his family for his scrapbook. He talked with them. He prayed with their families and with them. And he wept for dreams derailed and hopes dashed.
And he never, never, never allowed a press release about it. He considered it his responsibility. No, let me restate that. He considered it his privilege, to personally thank the people who put themselves in harm's way so that people back in the U.S. could have the freedom to bad mouth him and criticize him all day long.
Everyone wants to thank a soldier right now. It's very popular to do so, and it's appropriate. But please, people, those of us who have served know when you're being politically correct and when you're being sincere.
I'm not saying the current President is being politically correct or insincere. I'm saying his handlers and press people need a big dose of maturity. Don't treat the military wounded as a press op. Leave them some dignity.
Thank you for listening.