What was passed along to my Facebook notifications was this:
“When I first saw this I thought
the girl was one of his daughters.
Green and white shirt, black tee shirt, …
gray pants and tennis shoes.
How many people know that President Bush
hosts a few Wounded Warriors at his ranch
10 weekends every year?
Every year! All expenses paid!
Not what you expect to see, huh?
There he is, dancing with a
who has lost a leg but still dances.
I guarantee we will NEVER
see a story or picture like this
from NBC, CBS, ABC,
The New York Times, or The Washington Post.”
Truthfully, what made me look twice at the post was the line, “There he is, dancing with a “Wounded Warrior” who has lost a leg but still dances”. The implication that former President George W. Bush was consenting to dance with a woman wearing a prosthesis, as if he was bestowing upon her some great honor he’d not usually lower himself to do.
It irked me and pricked my sensitivity as I am an amputee and pity is something I detest. Really the un-named woman in this photograph is certainly not the reason for the internet pass-along. But her presence is what screamed at me and a few clicks of my laptop mouse soon revealed a lot of truth behind the photo and a “pity dance” was not one of them.
The first line of the post could be true, the writer clearly says this is their opinion, their first thought when seeing the photograph. The second sentence, “Green and white shirt, black tee shirt,…gray pants and tennis shoes” call your attention to the attire of the man in the photo at which point you are to notice the man is the former President of the United States, George W. Bush. He’s dressed so casually because he’s removed himself from the spotlight (which is true, he doesn’t seek public attention) which sets the reader up for the good work President Bush is supposedly doing behind the photo.
Per this short post President Bush hosts a “few Wounded Warriors at his ranch 10 weekends every year” “all expenses paid”! You do the math, 10 weekends a year is one weekend 10 of the 12 months of the year. That’s a lot of entertaining of wounded veterans.
Our men and women in the military give a lot to our abilities to remain a free country. But, even if this didn’t have a veteran involved in the story or a former president of this country, why stretch the truth? Why not just tell the truth like it is? The lie sure sounds good. The words attached will rile up the blood of some. It’s a reminder that the truth isn’t told. But there’s various versions of the “story” according to the Truth or Fiction web site. All with remnants of truth, none accurate.
In this case, as written about in Lie vs. Truth: Steepek or Lyle published on this blog, the truth is better than the fiction so why not post it?
The woman in this photograph is 1st Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell, US Army Retired. Leading a convoy in Baghdad a roadside bomb exploded and she became the first female to lose a limb in the Iraq War. Dancing is truly one of the little things this amazing veteran does since retiring from the military.
The Wounded Warrior Project has had her on their board since 2005. She is a motivational speaker for other veterans who have lost limbs or have other challenges from incidents in the war. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 she competed for the United States in the ITU Triathlon World Championships, taking the gold in all three years in the Tri2. This is just the beginning of her accomplishments.
As for the picture, on April 26-28, 2012 the George W. Bush Presidential Center hosted a 100K mountain bike ride in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. As part of the festivities after the ride 1st Lt Stockwell and former President George W. Bush danced. Someone took their picture. Now this post and email “pass along” post accompanying the picture dishonors two people, Stockwell and Bush.
Turns out the former president hosts this 100K, three-day extreme mountain bike ride annually. He does a lot of “good deeds” since his years in the White House have passed and he tries to stay out of the spotlight but today the greatest injustice is the one this post does to the first lieutenant.
The former President George W. Bush is pictured here, also with 1st Lt Stockwell, shortly after the 100 K was completed. (Photo from Truth of Fiction web site, photographer unknown or not listed.)
Here is a remarkable woman, strong in every way, inspiring others to push beyond their limits regardless of their challenges and she’s used as fodder for a “pass along” social media post to highlight the good deeds of a former United States president whose time in the spotlight is over at his own choice. This is what I find most offensive about this “story”.
The truth would make an even more remarkable report and social media again chooses to pass along the lie. Sometimes, though I know human nature is fickle and Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 that the time will come when men will only want to hear what pleases their ears, not sound doctrine, I never thought Paul’s words would also be talking about the same ailment in every day news.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”