If you watch the news at all you have to have seen at least one of those incidences of a member of the military stationed overseas secretly coming back and surprising their unsuspecting family, who are then overcome with joy. More likely, you have been bombarded with them.
I see on this morning's news it happened again yesterday in a big way at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia, when airman Sgt. David Sims appeared to his family unexpectedly at a Braves Major League baseball game. A very nice touch for a Memorial Day, I suppose.
However, I've seen so many of these on the news lately, service people popping out of boxes, out of various disguises, and using other clever ruses to surprise family members who think their loved one is thousands of miles away doing Uncle Sam's bidding.
I admit that for a while I found this type of thing heartwarming and moving nearly to tears - and I have to say, few things move me to tears. But now it has become in my mind an extension of our voyeuristic society and fixation on "reality" television. Why must these things be made into media events?
And honestly, with all the truly weighty matters that are newsworthy on a local, national, and international level, it's kind of hard for me to understand how these comparatively trivial matters make their way to the news. In fact, there are too many fluff-type and purely trivial stories that take up newscast time these days, in my opinion, and if you don't read newspapers or the newswires as supplements, you may find yourself woefully uninformed on some major happenings.
Now I confess to owning a cynical streak that I try with varying degrees of success to keep in check, but these reunion things are in my mind beginning to take on the appearance of publicity stunts. How sweet, And how nice of the Braves, or the local school, or whoever, to put it all together (and then notify the media).
I'm beginning to think we would be better served with a return to the fifteen minute newscast that consisted of headlines and brief summaries. And hold the analysis, commentary, and the fluff. But maybe that's just me.