September 30, 2003
Mr. Michael L. Glazer, President & CEO
100 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Dear Mr. Glazer,
Wow! You’ve made a life-long fan out of me! This may even be a love letter.
Because of cutting my baby teeth in retailing via a family-owned gift shop in San Jose, California, I sit up and notice when exciting gift products hit the market. I’m also a military veteran. Perhaps you’ve already guessed I’m writing about your retailing Blue Box Toys 12” plastic Action Figure “Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush U.S. President & Naval Aviator.” Good for you! You, like our stellar president, must be a man of integrity, great marketing acumen, and possess a near genius IQ. Bet you and KB Toys are reaping in lots of cash and admiration with this “Top Gun” Action Figure dolled up just like our jet jockey president for his USS Abraham Lincoln extravaganza last May 1st. Mission Accomplished!
For heaven’s sake, why aren’t you putting this product in KB Toys stores? It’s only to be ordered from your website? This patriotic made-in-China spectacle missing from shelves makes it seem “AWOL” -- just like its inspiration was for his tour of duty in the Air National Guard during that annoying Vietnam War. Don’t be chicken(hawk), Michael Glazer! Provide the Dubya Action Figure in your stores for the consuming masses! So what if veterans and other insistent truth-tellers are disgusted and thousands of less patriotic Americans than you and me sign the online petition to boycott you at www.petitiononline.com/kbtoys. The hell with them -- there’s money to be made!
I hate to be a skunk at your company picnic, but there’s a defect with the Action Figure you need to fix pronto. Your website states KB Toys is a “socially responsible” company, so correct this ASAP lest you get tagged “socially irresponsible” -- bad for business. Then, jack up retail price from $39.99 to $49.99. Bigger profits!
The defect with the Action Figure? Something vital is missing: George W. Bush’s actual military service record. True, our “Deserter in Chief” has yet to voluntarily release his record, he’s amnesic if questioned, but don’t worry -- enough of it has been obtained per the Freedom of Information Act and is posted on the Internet to hang “Top Gun” out to dry. You, me, the whole world -- heck, even Dubya himself -- can go to www.awolbush.com and www.users.cis.net/coldfeet/document.htm and get an eyeful of the real deal. All you have to do, Mr. Glazer, is photocopy the following four documents I’ve enclosed for you and include them in each Dubya Action Figure box.
The first document: August 1st 1972 verbal orders of Francis S. Greenlief, Major General and Chief of the National Guard, suspending/grounding flyboy Bush for failure to accomplish annual medical exam. Hmmm, flyboy never flew again. Interestingly, 1972 is the same year the military instituted drug testing with medical exams and poor young Dubya had those pesky cocaine and booze problems including his being arrested for substance abuse.
Second: May 2, 1973 document with narrative that Lt. Bush has “not been observed” at his unit and in “nonflying status” with a unit in Alabama. He didn’t report to his squadron? A pilot who isn’t flying ? Some “Action Figure”!
Third document: “Notice of Missing or Correction of Officer Effectiveness Training Report,” for period May 1, 1972 to April 30, 1973. Basically, the brass can’t rate the boy – he’s missing.
And throw this in: Major Rufus G. Martin’s report jet jockey is not rated for “the period 1 May ’72 to 30 April ’73 . . . report not available for administrative reasons” -- “administrative reasons” is military fancy talk for “we’re not able to find the guy.”
Now just two little changes to the product’s box: change product’s name to “Elite Military Deserter,” then add small-type footnote near box bottom, “Note: ‘AWOL’ – ‘absent without leave’ and desertion’ (defined as ‘AWOL’ beyond 30 days), are actual crimes – crimes with NO STATUTES OF LIMITATION. This Action Figure is 30 years overdue his court-martial.”
See, Mr. Glazer? Fast, easy fixes and KB Toys resumes being a “socially responsible” company with wholesome, honest products.
Scott Craig Griswold
WO/WI, U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot
Born: December 23, 1947
Killed in Action: January 24, 1969
Because I hold you in such high regard, I’ve also enclosed the official military portrait of my brother, Warrant Officer Scott Craig Griswold, US Army Helicopter Pilot, killed in action January 24, 1969 near Pleiku, Vietnam. Think you might agree Scott was a handsome young man. He’s what a real combat pilot looks like – a non-AWOL, non-deserter pilot. His name is engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC along with those of over 58,000 other young Americans who didn’t go AWOL or desert during that particular war.
Come to think of it, how about producing and retailing an Action Figure based on my brother? My family and I won’t even ask for royalties.
Happy retailing, Michael Glazer. Be careful you don’t choke on George W. Bush “Elite Force” Action Figure profits while savoring yourself in the mirror. God Bless America and God Bless Corporate Greed!
Your new fan,
Captain Maureen A. Griswold, RN (ret)
US Army Nurse Corps (1977-1980)
Maureen A. Griswold (ArmyRNvet@aol.com) is a retired RN and medical writer from San Jose, CA.