You’re Gonna Want to Fall In
–by Craig Lancaster
The following interview about LIFT was conducted by Craig Lancaster, journalist and author of 600 Hours of Edward and The Summer Son. This interview originally appeared on his blog site, “A Mind Adrift in the West.”
What was the impetus behind this?
I was watching the announcement of the 2010 TIME Person of the Year on either Morning Joe or the Today show, and when they announced who it was, I thought, “They should make it ‘the service member.’”
Curious, I looked up the list of TIME’s people of the year, and I discovered the service member has been PoY twice: in 1950 it was “The American Fighting-Man,” and in 2003 it was “The American Soldier.” Naturally, my next thought was, “It should be the military family.”
Person of the Year is given to the person, group, or thing that has most influenced the culture or the news during the past year. The military family has easily had a cultural impact in the last year: every time the war, a soldier, or the military is in the news, so is a military family by extension. When a soldier dies, the media jumps to interview the family members trying to deal with the loss. (Or, they used to. These days, Lindsay Lohan’s rehab seems much more interesting to them. A few days ago, two soldier deaths in Iraq got less than 10 seconds of coverage, but Lohan was given a full feature story for getting out of rehab, or not getting out of rehab, or something to do with her drinking and drug habit or quitting thereof. I’m sure it was important, whatever it was.)
Additionally, the military family has had an incredible impact on pop culture. Army Wives is entering its fifth season this year, E! just aired a special on the military spouse, Oprah has done several episodes that recognize the military family, and in terms of larger cultural impact, how likely do you think it is that we’d have nearly as many volunteer forces as we do if there weren’t extended family members available to take care of soldiers’ children?
What sort of traction have you gotten so far?
New-tire traction. Since Dec. 16, the Facebook page already has 245 fans (note: It’s 281 now). Not enough to get media attention, but it’s a nice number for the length of time the page has been up. Military Avenue, created by a retired Air Force Colonel, Dale Kissinger, has interviewed me, I’ve been invited to write a blog post for a Kentucky NPR station’s website, and others are contacting me to ask how they can help.
Why this year? Is there a particular “hook” upon which to hang this?
[Read the rest at “A Mind Adrift in the West.”]