Have you seen this story? It left me spluttering with indignation. A six-year-old girl from Garland, Texas (of course she's from Texas. It was either here or Louisiana.) submitted an essay to a contest where the prize was four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert in Albany, New York. The girl won the contest. Why? Because the opening line of her essay was that her daddy died in Iraq this year. The little girl got a make-over at a tween clothing store plus concert tickets and airfare to Albany. The only problem? The essay was completely fake.
The name the girl gave isn't that of her father, and the Department of Defense has no records of a serviceman by that name dying in Iraq. The mother finally fessed up that the essay was a lie.
This is just appalling on so many different levels. The mother's excuse was that they wanted the tickets so much that they'd do anything to win. Which begs the question of who really wanted the tickets, the mother or the daughter? I sincerely doubt that any six-year-old would kill off an imaginary father to win concert tickets. And what kind of lesson does this mother think she's teaching her daughter? That it's ok to lie, cheat and steal if you really, really, really want something?
And then there's the whole issue of making up a dead dad to win. This is a slap in the face to all of the military families, more than 3,000 of them, who have lost loved ones in Iraq. These families have lost mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters in this war, and I doubt any of them would trade on the death of their loved one to win concert tickets. To use the death of a soldier, even a fictional one, to win a contest is insulting.
Our paper is reporting that the contest organizers have taken away the girl's prize, which is the right thing for them to do. Unfortunately, it punishes a little kid for her mother's greed, but perhaps she'll learn a lesson her mother obviously isn't fit to teach her.