Supporting the Troops With Empty Symbols
We at the LUV airline are a patriotic bunch. We LUV our country; we give America the Freedom to fly; and we support our troops who fight for our country’s many freedoms.
One way we express our LUV is by encouraging our Employees to wear red shirts on Fridays to show our support for the troops. In addition, our Internal Customer Care Team (this year’s Heroes of the Heart!) sends LUV packages to all of our Employees or immediate family members who are called for military service. Many times, individual departments also keep in touch with Employees who have been called for military duty.
Rob reports that, “at the height of the current conflict, Southwest had 173 employees called to serve, 79 of who remain on military leave.”
Now, I suppose empty gestures of support are better than nothing. Still, it amounts to saying “173 OF MY CO-WORKERS WENT OFF TO WAR AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT.” (A red t-shirt, to be sure.) Now, if they really want to show how much they support they troops, they should drive to work wearing a red t-shirt in a car emblazoned with one of those giant yellow ribbons while listening to Lee Greenwood singing “God Bless the USA.” That’s what real patriots do.
Southwest does make a more tangible show of support for the troops by participating in Operation Hero Miles, whereby people can donate their frequent flier miles to be used by soldiers on leave from a war zone or by family members visiting wounded vets. Of course, that doesn’t really cost Southwest anything.