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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Forest and Tree Confusion

Phil Carter is bright guy. He just got the important part of the story of a town honoring a soldier returning from a war zone very, very wrong in "Bad Bud":
The ad ignores the complicated relationship that veterans have with alcohol, obscuring how much harm booze does to veterans when they come home.
You know, I worked in the military drug and alcohol counseling system and it seemed to me that there were some small percentage of people - civilians, college students, sailors, Marines and the like, who could not handle alcohol. On the other hand, there was a very large number who had (and have) no difficulty with it. To paint all veterans and, by extension, all military personnel with such a broad brush of a "complicated relationship" is simply wrong.

It was just a very nice way to say "thanks," and far better than another ad with a puppy and a horse.

Here, judge for yourself:

Update: I meant to add that there are so many things we are concerned about that we are beginning to not be able to move at all.

For example, suppose this ad had been sponsored by a doughnut company. Would the complaint then be that so many veterans are overweight that they have a "complicated relationship" with food? Can only tofu makers and Pilates studios welcome back our troops?

I hope not.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:45 AM

    I would guess that the percentage of people with alcohol problems, in the military, pretty closely mirrors the civilian population. The wringing over the Lt riding the beer wagon seems more in the vein of "PTSD sufferers destroy small towns in the Pacific northwest" meme of the Rambo era (I do note that Rambo didn't get violent until people just refused to leave him alone).
    Something that is neglected in the article is that the military has a more pervasive counciling system than is often seen in the civilian world. How often have universities, for example, set up treatment and monitoring systems when the gang at I Tappa Keg gets into trouble? Granted, the military is held to a higher standard, partly because of visibility, partly because the stakes are so much higher and I fully agree with this, as well as job stress being a trigger in some cases (then again, one sees the same thing in firemen, EMTs and other civilians in high stress occupations).
    I just don't see Budwieser as the bad guy here. Sure they got some publicity out of it, but it comes across more that they wanted to do something nice for the guy.