Glenn interviewed Rose Tennent of Quinn and Rose fame about her book titled Thanking Our Soldiers, a compilation of letters from her radio listeners of inspirational stories that demonstrate some of the best ways we can thank our men and women who serve in the military.
Transcript of interview below:
GLENN: We have Rose Tennent on here with us. She is from Quinn and Rose mornings here in Pittsburgh and you guys, I just did an interview with you guys a few minutes ago and do a lot of interviews with a lot of radio people, as you can imagine, and you guys are two of the best morning people on the air in the country. You get it like nobody else gets it. You are really great.
TENNENT: What a compliment coming from you because we really have tremendous respect for you and what you’re doing.
GLENN: Thank you very much. You wrote the book Thanking Our Soldiers: Random Acts of Gratitude and Generosity Towards Members of the Military and I wanted to talk to you about it because I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this. This is just, these are letters sent to you saying this is what I did.
TENNENT: Right. I started a segment on this show and you know how things like that can just snowball, right?
TENNENT: And I was talking, and I never talk about things that I do, if I gave to someone or ‑‑ I like to do that in private.
TENNENT: But there was a particular story that I had to share with the audience because I thought it was humorous but at one time I was at one of my favorite restaurants and I saw two or three service guys being led to the back room and I thought, you know what, I’m going to pay for their lunch. I’ve done it before. So I told their waitress that. And she kept coming back to my table and asking me, are you sure you want to do this, are you positive. And I didn’t understand why she kept asking that question and I assured her, “Yes, just give me the check when they’re done.” Well, it turns out that those two or three guys were being led back to a group of 15 other servicemen and women that I didn’t know about. So it was a pretty hefty tab. So I just, I told the story simply because I thought it was amusing. But once I told that story, I started to receiving e‑mails and letters from our listeners telling me what they’ve done to thank a soldier and it became a regular part of the show, or segment.
GLENN: Give me the more unusual. What’s the most common and what’s the most unusual?
TENNENT: The most common is picking up a tab.
TENNENT: And the most unusual, I thought this was very clever. A woman would drive the same route to work every day. And she actually worked in her own community. So at one point she noticed that at the four‑way intersection a home right there at the intersection had a large sign that said, “Welcome back from Afghanistan.” And she thought, “You know what? I don’t know those people but they’re in my community. So she wrote a thank you note to them and she put in a little gift to them. But you don’t even need to do that. She said, “Thank you for your service. You don’t know me but you are taking ‑‑ you are protecting my freedoms. You are preserving my freedoms. You are making a sacrifice for me and my family. So you need to know about me.”
GLENN: You weren’t connected with people who are grateful for, as we are, grateful for our military. What has been the reaction here in Pittsburgh with people on Benghazi, that we let four guys die?
TENNENT: It’s astounding, isn’t it? I mean, this is ‑‑ that’s why I love this book because while our government doesn’t seem to have the back of those who serve and protect us, we need to make sure we have their back. But I’ve got to tell you something about Benghazi. I was having my hair done and I asked the girl that was washing my hair, what do you think about Benghazi? She goes, “I don’t know who he is.”
GLENN: Which reminds me, More‑On Trivia is coming up in about 25 minutes.
TENNENT: That’s true.
GLENN: We had the More‑On Trivia, what was it, a couple of weeks ago where we talked about Benghazi?
GLENN: And that was, somebody said somebody at Wal‑Mart.
GLENN: That’s who Benghazi is, somebody at Wal‑Mart.
TENNENT: Oh, no.
GLENN: And they didn’t know, they didn’t know who he was as well.
TENNENT: Wow, that’s amazing.
GLENN: It’s ‑‑ since the election ‑‑ first of all, were you as shocked as we were that the election was going to ‑‑
TENNENT: Absolutely. I did not expect that at all. I didn’t think it was going to be a landslide. Some were predicting a landslide.
GLENN: I was.
TENNENT: I never believed that. But I didn’t think that Obama was going to win a second term.
GLENN: And were you shocked that less people went out and voted this time on our side?
TENNENT: I wasn’t. I talked about that a lot. No, I think that there was ‑‑ I think that people were ‑‑ if you looked around Pittsburgh, the signs were, “Fire Obama.” They weren’t “Hire Romney.” You know, and I think the enthusiasm level was way down. I don’t think that we had a strong enough candidate and I don’t think he was able to bring us through.
GLENN: Is it because he wasn’t liberal enough? He wasn’t liberal enough? Is that why? Because that’s what the GOP will have us believe now.
TENNENT: They keep telling, keep moving a little more to the left, keep going to the ‑‑ keep moving. We’ll tell you when to stop and it’s just a bunch of baloney.
GLENN: So what do you think people are actually saying? Do you think people ‑‑ A, do you think people have given up? Because quite honestly I am the ‑‑ I am the, “Let’s go, keep go, let’s going.” I’m that guy.
TENNENT: I know. You’re a cheerleader.
GLENN: Even I’m like, “What difference does it make.”
TENNENT: I know. It’s so hard to fight that, but you know what? We’re Americans. That’s what we do. We fight for liberty. Even if I go down fighting, I’m going to fight. I don’t care what it takes, I’m not going to run away. I’m going to stand firm.
GLENN: But here’s what it is. I have every intention. I’m not going to sleep, and I will, with my dying breath.
GLENN: The Constitution now and forever.
GLENN: With my dying breath.
GLENN: So I got that. But it’s like now you’re saying, “Hey, let’s get all together and let’s write our congressmen.” Who was it, Rand Paul was on yesterday, right?
GLENN: And he said, “You’ve got a right, congressman Boehner.” And we looked, we got off the air and we looked at each other and we went, are you going to do that, Pat? Nope. Me, either. I was just like, it’s not going to make a difference.
GLENN: These clowns, why do it?
GLENN: Do you think Boehner’s going to change?
PAT: He’s not. But Rand’s, Senator Paul’s point was that if a million people did that, then ‑‑ but a million people were saying, “Are you going to do that?” “No.”
PAT: It’s unfortunate but especially after ‑‑
GLENN: Because we don’t believe in them anymore.
TENNENT: No, we don’t.
GLENN: The Republicans are the Whigs.
TENNENT: When you look at the numbers, especially ‑‑ well, I’m thinking back to the midterm elections, that historic election. But there were so many people that felt that congress just did not represent them, that they did not have ‑‑ they said ‑‑ I remember reading the polls, that the TEA Party members had a better grasp on what was important for this country and what was needed for this country to move forward than those serving in congress right now. And they are absolutely, they were right. And it remains true to this day. They really don’t ‑‑ they haven’t got a clue.
GLENN: What do you think’s going to happen ‑‑ go ahead.
TENNENT: Go ahead.
GLENN: What do you think’s going to happen with the fiscal cliff?
TENNENT: I keep telling them walk away from the cliff, walk away from the cliff. Really. This is propaganda, this is a big event, this is fabulous for Obama, he’s created it. You know, it’s a big story. It’s the big event. And I just, I want congress to move away from it. I don’t want them to give in to this. Because it’s been sensationalized. It’s overdone. Walk away from the cliff.
GLENN: It’s really, and it’s amazing to me how the Republicans are always in a lose/lose situation. The left ‑‑
TENNENT: They are.
GLENN: ‑‑ is extraordinarily ‑‑
GLENN: ‑‑ brilliant.
TENNENT: Yes. Clever, manipulative.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Evil.
PAT: The problem is they’re also about three steps ahead of the Republican Party.
TENNENT: They are.
PAT: All the time. And the Republicans are in a, like you said, Glenn, a lose/lose situation right now. If they do something about it ‑‑
GLENN: They lose.
PAT: ‑‑ they lose. If they don’t do something about it ‑‑
GLENN: They lose.
PAT: ‑‑ they lose.
TENNENT: And they’ve set him up. We’ve been set up.
TENNENT: You know, you’re absolutely right.
GLENN: Every step of the way.
TENNENT: Look at Marco Rubio. The Democrats and the mainstream media, they recognize our rising stars before we do.
PAT: Oh, yeah.
TENNENT: Marco Rubio is a star.
TENNENT: And they know that. So what do they do? The first thing that GQ asks him is how old do you think the Earth is? What? Are you freaking kidding me, how old is the Earth?
PAT: I know.
TENNENT: And then what does Jeb Bush, Jr. do? He weighed in on it.
GLENN: Wait a minute, wait a minute. She avoided the answer. She wouldn’t give the answer: How old is the Earth?
TENNENT: How dare you ask me such a question when we’re talking about some serious matters. You know, I’m one of those Christians and I think that, you know ‑‑
GLENN: I think it’s four years old.
TENNENT: Yeah. Uh‑huh. But then Jeb Bush, Jr. weighs in: That was kind of a weird answer to that question. I mean, they’re already ‑‑
PAT: Oh, yeah. They’re trying to set up Jeb Bush.
TENNENT: He hasn’t ‑‑ Obama hasn’t even been sworn in yet for a second term.
TENNENT: And already they’re setting it up.
PAT: They’re giving us another false choice.
TENNENT: They are. They are.
PAT: Between Biden or Hillary and whoever their nominee is and our farthest left‑leaning candidate. And it would ‑‑
TENNENT: You’re right.
PAT: ‑‑ be Jeb Bush. Unacceptable.
TENNENT: Just such a thing.
GLENN: When we were in New York, I sat in very powerful meetings with the media and they ‑‑ the people in the media on the right, they were all for Jeb Bush. And I’m sitting there going, “Are you out of your mind?”
PAT: The worst.
GLENN: Jeb Bush?
GLENN: Can we stop with the Bush trilogy? Stop.
PAT: Let’s hope it doesn’t become a trilogy.
GLENN: We’ve seen the first two. I don’t want to buy a ticket for the other one.
TENNENT: That’s enough. You know, can I just tell you about this real quick?
GLENN: Yes. Yes, yes.
TENNENT: I just want to encourage people because even just saying thank you is a very, very strong act of kindness toward our military. One man in particular. Because there was a section also in the book about you how the ‑‑ those on the receiving end feel about receiving those acts of kindness and gratitude. And one man in particular was on a 15‑hour flight from Germany to Chicago coming back from some time that he spent in Bosnia and they had offered him an upgrade and he offered it to a family of six because he thought, when are those four kids ever going to have a chance to sit in first class. So for 15 hours he said he watched that family and the kids giggling and laughing and running around first class. He said that was a blessing to him. He didn’t mind that at all. He said but God had another blessing for him. When he got off the plane in Chicago, this little girl, he watched as a little girl jumped off her seat, 5 years old he said, came running towards him and, of course, the mother’s running behind her wondering what the heck is going on, ran up to him, curled her finger at him and so he got down on one knee, put his ear to her mouth and she said, “Thank you.” Threw her arms around his neck and hugged him.
GLENN: Wow. That happened in Chicago?
TENNENT: That happened in Chicago. He said that that was one of the best days of his life second only to the birth of his child. And then when he talked to the mom, she said that the grandfather who served in Vietnam had told this little girl, whenever you see a soldier, tell them thank you. He said that meant more to him than any other act or any other gift could possible mean.
PAT: What a phenomenal story.
TENNENT: Just those words, two words, “thank you.” Unbelievable. So there’s a lot in this book. It’s very moving. But you know what it does? It gives you ideas and encourages you to give. And this is the season of giving, right? And we can never repay the debt. Never repay it. But we can start to make some payments.
GLENN: The name of the book is Thanking Our Soldiers: Random Acts of Kindness, Random Acts of Gratitude and Generosity Towards Members of the Military. I have told my kids since they were that small as well. Every time you see a soldier, you go up and thank them. And when my kids were smaller, they would. Now they’re in that, you know, that awkward ‑‑
TENNENT: There’s an awkward stage.
GLENN: That awkward stage where some of them are like, I’m not ‑‑ Dad, that’s embarrassing. But it’s true, and it makes a difference.
TENNENT: It does.
GLENN: And thank you so much.
TENNENT: Yeah, thank you so much for letting me talk about it.
GLENN: Available on Amazon.
GLENN: You can just order it now, Thanking Our Soldiers by Rose Tennent. Thank you very much, Rose.
TENNENT: Thank you.
GLENN: God bless.