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Relatives of Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Decry Lack of Coverage Amid Jackson Spectacle
A day before New York Rep. Peter King called Michael Jackson a “pervert” unworthy of nonstop media coverage, the aunt of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan on the same day Jackson died asked why her nephew's death went virtually unnoticed while the King of Pop got memorial shrines across the country.
"Mr. Jackson received days of wall-to-wall coverage in the media," Martha Gillis wrote to the Washington Post. "Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week?"
Gillis' nephew, Lt. Brian Bradshaw, 24, died in Kheyl, Afganistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Bradshaw, of Steilacoom, Wash., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was one of at least 13 U.S. soldiers to die in Afghanistan since Jackson's death on June 25.
Bradshaw's mother, Mary, said she agreed with Gillis, saying the nonstop coverage of Jackson's death has become "totally ridiculous" and laughable.
"I can watch the news many nights and there's no mention of what's going on in Afghanistan or Iraq and there's boys dying over there," Bradshaw told FOXNews.com. "Oh God, I can't talk."
Gillis, of Springfield, Va., could not be reached for comment. In her letter to the Washington Post, she described Bradshaw as a "thoroughly decent person with a wry sense of humor" who loved history, particularly the Civil War.
"He had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk," Gillis wrote. "He wasn't much for talking, although he could communicate volumes with a raised eyebrow."
Bradshaw, who graduated from Pacific Lutheran University, was the product of a military family. His father, Paul, is a retired National Guard helicopter pilot, and his mother is a retired Army nurse.
"He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor," Gillis' letter continued. "He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial 'shrines,' while this soldier's death goes unheralded?"
Gillis said the only media outlets that covered Bradshaw's death were in his hometown of Steilacoom, Wash., and those where he was stationed before his deployment in March.
Gillis' sentiment echoes that of King, the Long Island, N.Y., congressman who called on society to stop "glorifying" Jackson in a YouTube video posted on Monday.
King said Jackson had been excessively praised in the days after his death while society ignored the efforts of teachers, police officers and veterans. In the two-minute video, King called the "day in and day out" coverage of Jackson's death "too politically correct."
"Let's knock out the psychobabble," he said in the video, which was taped outside an American Legion Hall in his district. "He was a pervert, a child molester; he was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think we're too politically correct."
King, who is among the possible Republican contenders to run against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, acknowledged that Jackson "may have been a good singer" and "did some dancing," but he blasted the King of Pop as someone who could not be trusted around children.
"There's nothing good to say about this guy," King continued. "But the bottom line is, would you let your child or grandchild be in the same room as Michael Jackson?"
Truly, one of the biggest problems is the way citizens tend to forget the war's. Everyone is
thinking about their life cycles and their immediate cares and concerns. Also the way the war
in Iraq is played down by Mr. Obama and his support advisor's and even Congress is wrong.
Certain words, like terrorist, are not allowed in the current administration...along with others.
The national tv coverage is not what it was, except for consistant reporting on FOX channel,
so the old saying " Out of sight, out of mind" is so true. The problem is, our people are still
engaged there, and still in harm's way. God bless them, may they return home safely.