Thursday, May 04, 2006

Good Men, Good Deeds

Good Morning. I can't seem to get enough coffee this morning. Still a little fuzzy around the edges.

I was thinking of news stories lately and the lack of good news. It's easy to get bogged down with all the troubles in the world, isn't it. Some days you really have to search to feel good.

I was raised with the spirit of volunteerism in our home. Both of my parents found groups to support in our community and leading by example, gave my two sisters and me the gift of awareness. Awareness that it is not all about us. Awareness that to whom much is given, much is expected. Awareness that by the grace of God we are American citizens and free.

Today it is good to find stories of high profile volunteers. Not the faux feel good celebs after a crisis or those expecting platitudes for their good deeds. I have read stories about three celebrities lately that have restored my faith in the gilded lilly that is Hollywood.

Gary Sinise, you may remember him for the character Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump", is a spokesman for the U.S. Disabled Veterans Life Memorial Foundation. He is a member of a rock band, a bass guitar player, called the Lt. Dan Band that performs for the troops in USO tours. He has also been active in starting a program to supply school supplies and sports equipment, like soccer balls, for children in Afghanistan and Iraq. The events of 9/ll affected his life profoundly, as it did many of us, and he has poured his energy into making a difference.

Gary Sinise was interviewed by an embedded reporter in Iraq. They were discussing the portrayal of the military in the media after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The journalist said he had no problem with running the pictures all around the world every day for as long as possible. Sinise agreed the alleged abuse was a scandal and not action worthy of our military defending our country. Then he told the journalist that the military is deserving of as many stories dealing with their good actions as their bad. Tell the other side of the story. The journalist's response? Well, bad news sells.

Denzel Washington has made a substantial donation to the Fisher House Foundation. After a visit to Brooke Army Medical Center he was moved by the heroism of injured soldiers and wanted to find a way to honor their sacrifices. When injured soldiers are evacuated from Germany they are brought to the States, especially burn victims. The Fisher House is a hotel where soldiers' families stay for little or no charge to be with their soldier. Brooke Army Medical Center has many of these houses on base and they are routinely full.

Denzel Washington also is a big supporter of Boys and Girls Clubs. As a child he used the facility closest to his home and he hasn't forgotten the positive effect it had on his life.

Bruce Willis is fed up with negative portrayals of the war in Iraq and is set to make a pro-war film where American soldiers are depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy. The story is based on heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry which has spent the past year battling insurgents in Mosul, Iraq, according to the Washington Times Online. Willis attended Deuce Four's homecoming ball in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are home on leave. "These guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom", said Willis. Stephen Eads, the producer of Armageddon and The Sixth Sense accompanied Willis to the homecoming ball.

With Mother's Day around the corner, the moms of these three men must be beaming. Job well done, ladies.

"I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body." - Ayn Rand


srp said...

Cheers for the three of them.
Too few good men out there like these.
Most are cowards.

AC said...

My Hollywood "no see" list grows every day with pretty much everything out of the mouths of Sarandon, Robbins, Baldwin (a couple of them anyway), Clooney, Sheen, etc. These three you mention are really stand-up people and deserve recognition for their efforts and beliefs.

I sure hope, and I have to believe, that there are lots of moms (and dads) with sons who have turned out more real men so my girl will have a quality man to marry.