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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Elmo helps Our Boys.

Rocky Mountain News: Sesame Street' to help injured vets, their kids


It's not your typical Sesame Street episode.

There are no lessons in letters or numbers, but there are plenty of hugs and lots of talk about feelings.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces the hit kids show, is working on a DVD designed to help injured military veterans talk about their disabilities with their children.

Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, said veterans and their families are looking to Sesame Street for help because the workshop produced a DVD last year to help military families discuss the strain of deployments.

More than a million children have parents in the military who have been deployed in the past six years. Roughly 18,000 military personnel in Iraq or Afghanistan have been wounded or injured seriously.

In the new production, Rosita, a fluffy blue mop-headed muppet, is upset because her father has returned home in a wheelchair.

Rosita angrily refers to the wheelchair as "that thing" and reminisces about dancing to salsa music and kicking a ball with her dad. With Elmo's encouragement, Rosita finds the nerve to talk with her parents about how she is feeling.

"Sometimes I feel a little sad, because things are so different now," Rosita says during a family outing to the park.

"I wish your legs were OK, Papi, and I wish you didn't have to go to the doctor so much. And I just wish things could go back to the way they were!"

Rosita's father tells her that although he may have changed, his love for her hasn't. He persuades her to hop on the back of his wheelchair so the two can try a new kind of dancing.

Retired Army 1st Lt. Ed Salau said it's important for families to find new activities to do together after a parent is injured. When Salau lost a leg in a rocket attack in Iraq, he immediately thought of his young children.

"All I was thinking about was, 'Am I going to be able to dance with my daughter or play soccer with my son?' "

Back home, Salau said he worked quickly to re-establish physical closeness with his children, which can be difficult for families. "Hugging still means everything it did before you were hurt," Salau says.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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