Tuesday, July 22, 2008

'Army Wives:' A Story That Needs to be Told

I'd never watched Lifetime TV's sophomore drama Army Wives until I decided to write a column about it for Mommy Track'd.

But while I, as a pop culture critic, didn't think it was the best, most well written TV show on the air today (can be a bit stilted at times), I think the show covers important territory, a subject we oftentimes ignore in our daily lives.

After watching season one on DVD and several of the new episodes currently airing on Lifetime, I found myself feeling extremely sympathetic toward the portrayal of the lives of the families of soldiers (both male and female) left behind as our country fights a two-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wondered why I hadn't paid more attention to these folks -- the families of soldiers, the spouses raising children and working -- while their loved ones are risking their lives abroad.

I think we largely ignore stories about these families because not everyone shares the same burden, because service in the armed forces is now voluntary. (If there was a draft, I'd venture to guess, we'd hear a heck of a lot more about military families.) Beyond the military folks and their families, who else is actually sacrificing anything while we're at war? How often do we even think about the fact that there are wars going on, beyond major holidays and the occasional news story? I've been busy planning my kids' birthday parties, getting ready to go on vacation, worrying about the fate of the Boston Red Sox and the rising price of food. I haven't really given much thought to military families since Memorial Day.

In the meantime, as the two wars are being used as political footballs in the presidential race, at least there's the non-partisan Army Wives telling a story that we all need to hear and that we should not forget.

Image credit: Lifetime.

No comments: