A missed opportunity

If you google Lindsey Stone, you'll get a pretty good idea as to who she is and what she did. I'm not going to link to any stories or put up any pictures because her actions at Arlington turn my stomach. They are disrespectful and disheartening. I have friends there. My family has friends there. It is hallowed ground. It represents the sacrifice of the best that this country will ever have to offer. And this woman disrespected it. Publicly.

The picture - taken about a month ago - went viral this week and the reaction from the military community was swift and brutal. The reaction was not just directed at Ms. Stone - it was directed at her employer as well (she was in D.C. on the company dime) and they paid the price for their employee's actions. People called for her to be fired, to be physically assaulted, etc.

Most people who know me would expect that I would support those calling for this woman's head on a platter. Some might even expect me to lead the charge.

I do not.

I find the reaction of the military community to be sad. We blew it. We missed a golden opportunity to show this woman - and the rest of the population who are watching - what we are about; to educate her as to the sacrifices our servicemembers and their families make; and to extend grace in an ugly situation.  And we failed. Instead, we lashed out and launched vitriol at her, her employer, and anyone who didn't call for her head on said platter.

Another friend of mine posted a reaction that made me smile because he gets it:

Update on the disrespectful Arlington Cemetery picture - the woman has made a public apology. Her name is Lindsay Stone. Ms. Stone, I don't know if you will ever see this post from me - but I would like to offer to take you through Arlington National Cemetery myself and tell you some stories about the Heroes buried there. I would also like for you to meet some of the amazing families I have met
 in Section 60. People who come and spend the entire day with their Hero buried there - little kids who have their pictures taken next to their daddy that they never even had a chance to see. I would also like to teach you something that I live by everyday - "Always do the right thing even if you are the only one doing it" and that means doing the right thing when nobody is watching too ma'am. Semper Fi, Luke

Luke gets it.

Instead, the reaction from the military community probably solidified this woman's opinion (as well as those of millions of others) and pretty much guaranteed that she will fall solidly in the 'military hater' camp for a good, long time.

Sad. Just sad.

Someone elsewhere asked what Lex might have to say about it all. I suspect he might have some snark to throw down but I also suspect he'd be just as disappointed in the reaction as I am.


- hfs


Colin Kimball said...

You nailed it. I too agree. The pendulum of discontent is always swinging and awaits the wise to stop its motion. We missed our moment to cease its movement.

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving

Sgt Pepper

Pogue said...

Yeah, I agree. Stupid should hurt, and I think she would agree it does at this point, but it's not like she's the only person who ever made a bad decision posting something on the internet.

Curtis said...

I think you're right on all counts. They may be dyed in the wool haters but it wasn't my dye or my wool and I don't think think any good purpose was served by the reaction.


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