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Hey, Does Anyone Else Think We Kinda Respect the Military Too Much Maybe? [View all]

http://www.411mania.com/politics/columns/264535

Hey, Does Anyone Else Think We Kinda Respect the Military Too Much Maybe?
Posted by Enrique on 11.28.2012


Apparently it was Veterans Day earlier this month. I know this because retailers offer great deals to veterans and non-veterans alike, television commercials for all sorts of companies remind us of how much they support the troops, and people from various walks of life fall over themselves proclaiming how much they respect the sacrifices made by the all-volunteer U.S. armed forces.

That's all well and good, but when some poor gal can lose her job because she posted a picture on Facebook that might offend veterans…then maybe we need to take a step back on over-praising the U.S. military. It's one thing to honor the military, but it's another to place members of the military beyond criticism. When it's acceptable to fire someone for not sufficiently respecting U.S. soldiers, it's a red flag that the casual militarization of America needs to be reined in.

The story so far…
In case you hadn't heard, last month some silly woman named Lindsey Stone visited Arlington National Cemetery, which as you may be aware is the final resting place of U.S. veterans going all the way back to the Civil War. Visitors typically conduct themselves with appropriate decorum, but Ms. Stone thought she'd have a laugh by pretending to disobey a sign near the Tomb of the Unknowns that demands "Silence and Respect" (see above).

As anyone who has ever googled "Washington monument boner pics" knows, vacation pictures featuring sight gags has a long history in and about our nation's capital. To be sure, Arlington National Cemetery is not a typical venue for such comic stylings, so Ms. Stone's sense of humor in this case was an example of poor taste. Compounding poor taste with equally poor judgment, Ms. Stone posted the picture on her Facebook page. Hilarity did not ensue.

What ensued was national outcry. Stone's bad joke made her Internet Famous in the worst possible way, and it wasn't long before the online hordes were calling for her to be fired (it was apparently a company trip). Stone and her accomplice were placed on unpaid leave, but that wasn't enough – a "Fire Lindsey Stone" Facebook page soon appeared (since deleted). Sure enough, it wasn't long before Stone and her colleague found themselves unemployed.

Congratulations, Outrage Brigade – you got two women fired for making a bad joke. Stone and her partner in bad manners had worked for a non-profit called LIFE (Living Independently For Everyone), Inc. According to LIFE's website, its mission is to "to enable people with disabilities to manage their own lives, make their own choices and give a person information and knowledge to assist in living with dignity and bravado." Stone had been with LIFE for 18 months and was previously described as a "good employee."

If Stone's bad joke somehow made her unable to perform her duties assisting disabled people, it's not at all clear to me. It's one thing to publicly shame someone for rude behavior. It's quite another to deprive them of their livelihood for doing something tasteless that harmed no one.

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Reply Hey, Does Anyone Else Think We Kinda Respect the Military Too Much Maybe? [View all]
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