Our friend Steve Hayes of the Weeekly Standard draws our attention to this story from today’s Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “Golfer spends time with troops in Iraq.” The story is about PGA golfers visiting Iraq, with a focus on Madison’s Jerry Kelly. On Thanksgiving, Kelly spent his fortieth birthday with the troops as part of the PGA’s “Operation Links Handshake Tour.” Here’s a “slice” of the report:
“It was a life-changing experience,” Kelly said in a telephone interview Friday. “It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”
The golfers visited 14 bases in Iraq, entertaining the troops with golf exhibitions and swapping stories with soldiers in conversations that stretched into the early morning hours.
“We hit balls off of Saddam’s palace, off the back of a tank, off the wing of an Iraqi MIG fighter,” Kelly said. “We stopped a soccer game in the Kurd region and hit balls off the field into Turkey. We hit balls in Mosul.
“We did a ton of stuff. We wish we could have spent more time with the guys. They were like, ‘Thank you so much.’ We were like, ‘Are you kidding me? We’re the ones who are thankful.'”
Steve draws our attention to this passage on the MSM’s contribution to the war effort:
[Taylor] came away with a new appreciation for what the soldiers are accomplishing and expressed in strong terms his disdain for how the war was being covered by the American media.
“Our soldiers are so selfless,” he said. “We need to be promoting them and telling people what a great job they’re doing. All they’re hearing is bashing.
“One guy told me, ‘I’m hesitant to do the job I was trained for. I don’t want to return fire because I might be on CNN the next day.’ That’s sad. That’s a guy risking his life for us. He doesn’t want his family to see him on CNN being portrayed the way those guys are being portrayed.”
Please read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Laura Lee Donahoo writes:
I appreciate your posting the article about the PGA Tour Members visit of Iraq and Kuwait. My brother is a golfer and really enjoyed meeting them. I posted a photo that he sent me of him and Corey Pavin and linked to your article.
It’s no wonder that none of us hear about the wonderful things that are being accomplished every day by our troops, knowing the kind of media we have. The networks and CNN have been actively opposed to all things military (except under Clinton in Kosovo) but you would think they could at least acknowledge the great work the troops are doing.
From the first days of the beginning of the war in Iraq the media have trumpeted all things negative and ignored the almost miraculous successes. The military is a very special breed of American and I suspect the average MSM reporter’s worldview is threatened by that truth.