ABC's Jake Tapper elaborated on Sen Barbara Boxer's questions of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at yesterday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings. Boxer, a mother and grandmother, insinuated that the single, childless Rice had questionable standing to make decisions about sending other women's children off to war.
Later, Rice responded, reasonably, on Fox News Channel: "I thought single women had come further than that." The California Democrat said she was trying "to focus on the people behind the casualty statistics," ABC's Tapper suggested, before surveying how few of the members of Congress did have close kin in uniform: four senators and nine House members.
As crass as Boxer may have been towards Rice, features by both ABC and CBS vindicated the senator's point. It is true that the vast majority of military families have no connection to the rich and famous. ABC's substitute anchor Elizabeth Vargas filed a Person of the Week profile of Mary Moreno, a USMC reservist corporal's mother who formed her own mutual support group with other military mothers in Brazonia County Tex four years ago.
Concluding CBS' week-long Honor & Sacrifice series, Byron Pitts showed us a marital counseling retreat for soldiers home from war and their wives--the divorce rate among army personnel is 29% higher now than it was before the invasion of Iraq four years ago. The retreat's $1m annual budget receives no Pentagon funding. Veterans' champion Ross Perot pays instead.
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