Thursday, March 03, 2011

Telling Our Stories

The Washington Post had a good piece today on the impact the unrest in the Middle East has had on the children of our diplomats who have been evacuated.

Children of diplomats displaced by strife often caught between two worlds

With each regime that teeters, each uprising that forces a U.S. embassy to be evacuated, more American diplomats, aid workers and their families seek shelter at a nondescript Falls Church apartment complex with a nondescript name: Oakwood. The only hint of its connection to international affairs is the United Nations flag flying overhead.

You can read the whole article here.

This piece is exactly the kind of story the State Department and AFSA need to be getting out.

Our biggest problem, the reason we keep being the whipping boy for the budget cutters, is that we are no ones constituent. We are small and not well understood, so that makes us an easy target.

These kinds of stories help the American public get a better idea of the challenges we face.

Let's do more. Let's let the public hear the stories from our folks serving in Libya, Cairo, etc. Let's hear from those who experienced the earthquake in Christ Church.

We have an awesome, exciting job that we are priviledged to get to do. We also have a frightening, challenging job that demands great personal sacrifice.

America needs to know.

1 comment:

Consul-At-Arms said...

We're small, elite (and perceived as elitist, which is even worse), deployed in dribs and drabs all over the world so we're out-of-sight-and-out-of-mind, not concentrated in any one congressional district, and we don't have big bases all around the country where we're stationed when we're not abroad.

When we're "home," 99% of the time that means we're in D.C., where we (deliberately) blend in with all the other government employees, riding the Metro to work and clogging the line at Starbucks.

It is an awesome job, often exciting and frequently meaningful.

I wouldn't trade it, and the chances its given me to "make a difference" for all the world, but.... it's still not fair to single us out for a 24% pay cut when we have the affrontery to actually deploy overseas to do our jobs.

Who else in government and military service does that?

I've quoted you and linked to you here: