On last weekend's episode of Army Wives one of the characters died in combat in Afghanistan. It turned out to be a very emotional episode and included several different tributes to the fallen soldier - including a tribute from his platoon still in Afghanistan.
At the end of the episode the one thing I was surprised about is that they didn't use some events from real life in the episode. I'm specifically referring to a certain church from a certain state that feels called to protest at funerals of our service members. I am so very glad that the writers/producers of Army Wives decided not to give the church more legitimacy (if that's the right word) and/or publicity by featuring something similar in the show.
A few weeks ago, an Airman (A1C Zachary Cuddleback) from this area was shot outside the Frankfurt Airport in Germany. The certain church I mentioned decided they would come out to IL to protest at his funeral. Instead of them making the news and being in the forefront, hundreds of people from around the area lined the streets and blocked the protesters. The Wing Commander from Ramstein AB wrote an article about what he saw when he escorted A1C Cuddleback's body home for the funeral. Driving around town the next few days, one could still see several signs honoring A1C Cuddleback and his family. I wish we had heard about it beforehand, as I would have been honored to have participated.
My only question is, and I hate for it to sound like an unpatriotic criticism, was A1C Cuddleback the first person in 10 years of war to die from this are? If not, were the other people honored in the same way? I for one have not heard of anything like what was done for the Cuddleback family. I think it was amazing and beautiful that the community honored a fallen Airman in that fashion...I just hope we haven't gotten so immune to the war and its toll on our service members that others are allowed to just slip by unrecognized.
Do shows like Army Wives help us remember or do they add to the steady stream of reports and/or images that help to create "caring fatigue" bringing us to a point where we're just too tired to care anymore...?