Debbie Lee: Americans Celebrate Michael Jackson, Ignore Troops

I’m sitting at the desk in my hotel room after just completing our eight hour Troopathon at the Reagan Library. I’ve gone over and over in my head trying to figure out why this year, even though we had a better set, added celebrities to our line-up, and had better media coverage, our final funds raised to support the troops were half of last year’s.

I turned on the TV and clicked through the channels trying to find coverage of our event. I had heard earlier in the day that Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett both had died. As I clicked through the channels, I found every single channel had coverage of Michael Jackson’s death, even Fox News.

As I am not an “Idol” worshipper, it always amazes me how engulfed people can get in the lives of celebrities. I had an “ah hah” moment and realized that could be part of the reason our event was not as successful as we had hoped. We had lost viewers to the “Breaking News.”

I am not prone to want to listen for hours on end to all the hoopla surrounding his death, so I opted to turn off the TV and lay my weary body to rest.

After arising today, I turned on the TV, and you guessed it, almost every channel is still talking about Michael Jackson. The announcer is talking about all the crowds at the “Reagan” Memorial Hospital mourning his loss.

What a contrast–yesterday we were at the “Reagan” Library raising funds to support our troops and send care packages to the combat zones to let them know how much we appreciate and love them, and the rest of the world was focused on the news from Reagan Memorial Hospital that Michael Jackson was dead.

Our men and women are fighting selflessly to combat terrorism and defend our freedoms. These troops are willing to lay down their lives just like my son Marc Alan Lee did on Aug 2, 2006. These heroes aren’t begging for the world’s attention, they don’t seek to be recognized, honored, or worshipped, but we do need to remember them.

I thought about the world’s attention yesterday at the Reagan Memorial Hospital, how engrossed they were in the death of Michael Jackson. My heart ached as I realized the priorities that most people have in life. How the media will dwell non-stop on Michael Jackson and his idiosyncrasies. My condolences go out to his family. I do understand the grief in losing someone you love dearly.

This man may have entertained millions, but did he do anything for their freedoms? He wasn’t willing to sacrifice his life for his buddies, for you or I, as my son did, or as our troops, our true heroes do. Each one of our warriors who signed up to defend the United States have written blank checks to this nation and they are willing to pay whatever price is required for our freedoms, including sacrificing their lives.

Why is the media not telling the stories of America’s Mighty Warriors? Why were people afraid to part with their money yesterday to send care packages to our warriors dodging bullets, IED’s and RPG’s, yet they had no problem buying flowers and gifts, piling them at Michael Jackson’s home, at his Hollywood Star, the Reagan Hospital or other memorial sites around the world? Our priorities as a nation are distorted.

For those of you who did participate and gave yesterday, THANK YOU! You understand the sacrifice our troops make and you have your priorities right.

Obviously, since losing my son, Marc, not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and how he lived his life to the fullest. I think of the words on his headstone, “Loved deeply, deeply loved,” which so describe Marc. His last letter home has changed peoples’ lives all over the world. If you’re moved by his letter, please make a generous contribution by clicking on the donate button at He gave up his tomorrows so that you and I could have a today. Please be generous and do whatever you can for our troops, their families and the families of the fallen.

Marc wasn’t the only one with that attitude; I have seen the same character in our other brave warriors fighting for you and I. I always remember and pray for our troops who sacrifice so much for me and for this nation. They are the true heroes, they deserve our loyalty, our praise, our attention, our media focus. They need to know that we have not forgotten them. If you would still like to sponsor a care package and be part of the Troopathon 2009, it’s not too late, you can do that at

Please America, check your priorities! We are a nation that was founded on God’s principles and we need to stay focused on what those are. May God continue to strengthen us and bless us as we follow Him.


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