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Stop Fawning Over Staged Military Reunions

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It feels good. But it's empty.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

I'm just going to drop the quote, because Tom Ley hit it all and you should read this  in its entirety:

It makes sense that an NFL team would go out of its way to do something special for a member of one of the most powerful families in America instead of, say, a local grunt who’d served in a combat zone, because these reunions really aren’t orchestrated and televised for the benefit of the soldiers and families involved. They are done because cozying up to the military is a good way for the NFL to market itself as a noble civic endeavor while making some extra money, and because the American football-loving public loves a chance to share in a bit of un-earned catharsis—watching two smiling, photogenic soldiers embrace in relief is a great way to forget about all the bodies that have piled up. If a given reunion happens to basically be a viral political ad—and given that Candace Ruocco Valentine is not only the member of two connected families and a former White House intern but the holder of both a JD and a doctorate in public policy analysis, one suspects that this moment may be shared on some campaign page of her own before too long—it’s hard to be too put out. That is, after all, what they all are.

The NFL put a magnet on its bumper to show it "supports the troops." This is as empty as PR efforts can be. It's exploitative.

Just stop.