Texas dad Tom Logan has had a pretty awful year. In January his son, USMC Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, was killed in a helicopter crash while serving our country. Then came the letter from President Barack Obama. A form letter.
That's right, a proud military dad was treated to nothing more than a pre-printed letter with his son's vital statistics filled in as a "condolence" for losing his own child. Ooph. Talk about kicking a man when he's down.
I think we all get that President Obama is running a country right now. He has a lot of important things to handle, like a piss poor economy and a certain former Massachusetts governor trying to take his job. Eking out some time to pen a handwritten note is not exactly easy.
But he is the president after all. He ran, he was elected to do the hard stuff. There's an obvious answer to that problem: don't send a letter to grieving parents at all.
This is not to say that dads like Tom Hogan do not deserve some form of acknowledgement of a loved one's sacrifice or that Joey Hogan's tragic death should be ignored. But half-assing a letter to a grieving parent, a letter that's meant to sum up a hero's life, is not the way to do it. A form letter of the type Tom Hogan received is most certainly half-assing the job.
The most recent numbers on casualties in Afghanistan readily available on the Internet are a year old, but they claim that 2,700 troops died over what was then a 10-year span since the war began. As long as there are any casualties, there are too many. But that doesn't mean there are too many to write letters for. Divide 2,700 by 10, and you have 270 per year, that's less than one handwritten note a day. And a man, even one who's president, can't fit that into his day?
Heck, he could easily have a staffer do the writing and just sign his name. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would at least reflect a recognition that this man, this lost Marine, was a human being, worthy of something more than a computer spitting out a pre-written note.
But if he couldn't even do that, I have to say it. Don't send a note. Don't degrade the value of a man's life with such a thoughtless gesture.
What do you think? Do you think the president should have, could have, taken the time to write a real letter to this grieving father?
Image via United States Government Work/Flickr