UnNews:Sesame Street helps to arm children
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14 July 2006
US children's TV show Sesame Street is to be used to help American military families explain why a parent has to leave to serve overseas.
A DVD featuring popular character Elmo and his parents who are preparing for Elmo's dad to be destroyed, will be handed out for free in August, along with a U.S. Army Barrett M107 Sniper Weapon System, and a leaflet.
The DVD, produced in both English, Spanish, Hebrew and Gibberish, also features interviews with real-life puppets who saw action in Vietnam. In a rare moment of emotion, Big Bird breaks down and babbles about the "thousand yard stare".
It also deals with the mixed feelings that can occur when families are re-assembled using sticky tape and chicken wire.
"About half a million children up to the age of five belong to a family with one or both parents on active duty in the US", said Leslye Arsht, a US government undersub-belowpar-secretary for military community and family policy. "And that family is especially unlucky. They're really going to need this DVD."
"Some parents don't know how to deal with children when there is a deployment," she said. "Often they just jump into the SUV and drive away as fast as possible, leaving youngsters to fend for themselves among rogue ice cream vans and CNN reports."
"Other kids in school will say, 'My daddy is away killing bad guys.' This prepares the mom or dad to prepare the kids with better things to say, such as: 'My daddy is away being killed by bad guys', or 'My daddy is a coward hiding in a disused warehouse on the edge of the city'"
In any case, it won't matter so much, because no one is going to ask any questions with a kid that's carrying a DVD, a U.S. Army Barrett M107 Sniper Weapon System, and a leaflet.