Saturday, January 05, 2008

Yeah, I cry over the Military History channel

Flipping channels tonight, I stopped on Military History when I saw they were running a doc on women pilots in combat. These women are the successors to my mother and her friends and colleagues - women flying B1 bombers, women flying off carriers, facing the same dangers the male combat pilots face. Earnest women - I see the same straightforward, common sense determination on their faces, in their voices, that I recall from my mother and from her fellow WASP when I met them at reunions.

The documentary ran a fairly lengthy segment on the WASP. I'm always squinting and scouring footage to see if I catch a glimpse of my mom. But, she was shy and not likely to make herself available for film. I got angry when the narrator spoke of the lousy Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannity-types of the day who castigated the WASP as a joke, unworthy of military status, and even suggested they weren't "real" pilots. They even showed political cartoons of the era that mocked these amazing, brave women. I hadn't seen those before - they infuriated me.

But it was when the documentary returned to our day that I fell to pieces - as those earnest women, combat pilots, heirs to my mother's true estate, spoke of how much they owe the WASP for paving the way to the lives they lead, the careers they cherish.

That was cool. And a little heartbreaking. Wish Mom was here to have heard that.

Yep. I roll my eyes at most chick flicks and don't own a single pair of heels. But you catch me at the right moment, and I weep like a baby over the Military History channel.

And I watched football tonight.

Do I get an honorary "guy" card?


Chuck said...

Football, huh? Honestly, pro football is about the only pro sport I follow at all. Although it seems like every game I watch this year, the team I want to win loses.

My father's military service was always important to him, even though he didn't have much to do with the military after he got out in the 50's.

Sudiegirl said...

You know, if I were you I'd write to the History Channel and complain about the "tone" of their segment re: the WASPS.

Your mom was a part of history, and all those who served should be treated with dignity and respect.

Let me know if you want me to dig up their address.

Merujo said...

?? I think you've misunderstood, sudiegirl - the tone of the segment was fine. Great, as a matter of fact! The pundits of the day are partly responsible for the WASP not getting their military status in the 1940s and for turning public opinion so against them that the program was shut down. It's angering, but it's important for people to know why they weren't accorded the status they deserved early on. The Military History channel did very well by the WASP!

Washington Cube said...

Ok, Merujo, enough crying over Hitler invading Poland, for cri sakes. Let's switch the station. What's on next?

Washington Cube said...

Merujo, what's going on here? Huh? :::getting out vaccuum and tossing old pizza boxes::: Oh yeah..that plant on the balcony needs water...get to it.

Merujo said...

Cubette, it's mighty good to see you out here. Jeezus, I'm out of touch these days. Don't worry -- I don't watch a lot of the Military History Channel - just so many episodes of "Hitler's War Machines" any girl can watch. This was just a weird bit of timing. And I've been a slightly depressed, weepy lump since late December thanks to whatever mutant walking pneumonia smacked me around this time.

Better now. :) Feisty. Cranky.

Washington Cube said...

Tell me about it. I swear life keeps knocking me down, daring me to get up again, and when I do...pow. Someone said to me, not too long ago, "It can't get any worse," and I looked at them like they had mad cow. I said, "Are you joking?"...knowing damn well life can ALWAYS get worse.