Marines in “The Middle” – and Honoring War Veterans in Song

Businesses looking to hire employees who exhibit “selflessness,” “resilience,” “team orientation,” and “reliability” should seriously consider military veterans. That’s what a study by the University of Phoenix Research Institute discovered after polling over 800 corporate managers and executives.

I don’t know whether the producers of the ABC sitcom “The Middle” were aware of that study when they cast two real-life Marines in a small role in an upcoming episode, but they deserve kudos for doing it anyway. The show’s star, Patricia Heaton, tweeted a couple of set pics yesterday – one with her posing with the Marines, the other with her sitcom family, Charlie McDermott and Eden Sher.

“The Middle” airs Wednesdays on ABC at 8 Eastern/7 Central.

Staying with the military theme, Season 7 “American Idol” contestant and former “Christopher Closeup” guest Kristy Lee Cook has released a new song called “Airborne Ranger Infantry” which was inspired by some poems her father, Larry Cook, wrote about his time serving in Vietnam during the extraction period.

When I interviewed Kristy a few years ago, she mentioned that she grew up listening to her father’s stories about the war, so honoring the sacrifices of veterans is especially important to her. She certainly accomplishes that with this song which takes us into the mind of someone who served through lyrics like, “All we ask is that you don’t forget, / Because the war’s not over when the fighting ends. / There’s a part of us that will always be / Just boys in a hole with our M-16s / Honoring souls and memories / Airborne Ranger Infantry.” Kristy’s tender and heartfelt performance of the song is no doubt due to her personal connection with the person behind its story. Listen to “Airborne Ranger Infantry” below or buy it online:

About Tony Rossi

After graduating from St. John's University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers' TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization's radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.