The most powerful gift you can give a soldier

 

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?

GLENN: 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.

GLENN: 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.

GLENN: Right.

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?

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: And that was, somebody said somebody at Wal‑Mart.

PAT: Yeah.

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: No.

GLENN: Really?

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.

TENNENT: Yeah.

GLENN: The Constitution now and forever.

TENNENT: Amen.

GLENN: With my dying breath.

TENNENT: Amen.

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?

PAT: Yep.

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.

TENNENT: Right?

GLENN: These clowns, why do it?

TENNENT: Why?

GLENN: Do you think Boehner's going to change?

TENNENT: No.

GLENN: No.

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."

GLENN: (Laughing.)

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 ‑‑

TENNENT: Smart.

GLENN: ‑‑ brilliant.

TENNENT: Yes. Clever, manipulative.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Evil.

TENNENT: Evil.

GLENN: Yeah.

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.

GLENN: Yes.

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.

PAT: Yes.

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.

PAT: Yeah.

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?

PAT: No.

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.

PAT: No.

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.

TENNENT: Yes.

GLENN: You can just order it now, Thanking Our Soldiers by Rose Tennent. Thank you very much, Rose.

TENNENT: Thank you.

GLENN: God bless.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

RELATED: These 3 things need to happen before we can fix our border problem

Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.