Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I Had To Come Back To Comment

Yes, I know it's been almost 3 months since I've put anything here, but I had an experience today I have to share.

A local man, his name is Matt, returned from Iraq for his 15-day leave and arrived in Columbus to see his Mom and the rest of his family.

His Mom hadn't seen him in a year. His Aunt, an old neighbor of mine, moved about a mile away a few years ago but has stayed in touch. She was throwing a 'Welcome Home' party for Matt, and all of the Neighbors (new and old) were invited over to celebrate and show our support. Matt is with the 101st Airborne and is stationed in Northern Iraq, though he's seen action many places from what I was told. He's going back soon, but we all wanted to go over and say "thanks" for helping to protect our country and our livelihood.

I'm not sure who tipped them off, but the local media showed up and started interviewing everyone about what was going on in Iraq and what it meant to have Matt back for a short time.

I myself have little use for the media, and tried to stay out of the way. Thankfully no one from the TV stations or newspapers asked me for my comments. Though they would have been just like Matt's, which I'll speak to in a moment.

I heard two of the reporters whispering that they wanted to get camera shots of Matt's Mom's face when she first saw him after a year. Unluckily for them, I was the only one left on lookout outside when Matt arrived, and OOPS, I forgot to tell them that he had arrived and was outside until after his Mom had already greeted him. Heh.

Anyway, when the reporter approached him he pushed away the microphone and immediately began talking about how Iraq was nothing like the terrible place that we the American public were hearing about in the news, but instead that the Iraqi people had never had freedom, and now that they had a taste of it they wanted more, and how glad they (the Iraqis) were that we (the Americans) were around. He thanked the crowd and that was about all he said to the news media. He wanted little to do with them.

I had been bothered by the almost 100% negative coverage we had been getting from the media on the situation in Iraq, and was glad to hear that what I (and many others) suspected was true. I wholly believe there is both a conscious and unconscious effort on the part of the media to just make our President, George W. Bush, look bad no matter how good things are really going.

Made me feel proud, it did.