Saturday, October 09, 2010

American Legion's Bad Advertising

I just got a letter from the veterans' group, The American Legion, and since I served in the U.S. military I was kind of curious, and opened the letter.

Frankly, it disgusted me. Basically, the letter invited me to be a member of yet another gimme-gimme group of which it seems the country is overrun.

The Legion will make sure I get all the benefits from the government that I'm entitled to and it brags that it helped create yet another layer of governmental bureaucracy, the Veterans Affairs Administration, and it reminds me that the Legion is pushing in Washington to "make sure my interests are protected."

The American Legion promises me discounts on various products and services as if it was the Automobile Club. And the letter included four "special gifts," a decal, some address labels, a bumper sticker and "a custom-designed branch-of-service lapel pin with a pewter-finish."


Dear Legion: I did not serve my country in the hopes of getting "a custom-designed branch-of-service lapel pin with a pewter-finish." However fine many of your members may be, your cheesy sweepstakes-y advertising is a total turn-off and your emphasis on all the goodies I can get for my membership dues is completely out of context with how I would like to remember my military service.

I want to associate my military service with serving my country, with patriotism, with teamwork, with good friends whom I've kept for years, with adventure, with rigor, and with courage (though I was blessed never to have to exhibit any). But your emphasis is on discounts at Travelodge, Avis and online flower stores.

I don't object to those things, but you have your priorities backwards.

Go away! You're bothering me.