Douche of the Week: Amy Bushatz
By Marcus Penn
What do you get when you combine 1940s pin-up style photography, a yearly calendar, and veterans in need of some cheer getting visits from the pin-ups? Gina Elise’s Pin-Ups For Vets. What do you get when a military spouse attacks the founder and the models, or Ambassadors as Gina calls them? You get the Douche of the Week.
The facts are that Gina started Pin-Ups for Vets in 2006 and published the first calendar for 2007. Since then, she and the Ambassadors have traveled across the nation visiting VA hospitals, providing cheer, and donating a lot of money. This year the calendar featured 12 veterans including 9 women and 3 men. PUFV does good work that brings joy to the hearts of one of our nation’s most treasured citizens – veterans. The project receives unending support from many in the military community, from the brass to the dozens of milbloggers which have raised money to support her efforts as a fundraiser several years ago. We all believe in what PUFV does. So why is she being attacked?
Amy Bushatz, for those not familiar, is an Army wife, the Editor In Chief of Military.com’s SpouseBUZZ, and she calls herself a journalist by trade. Her bio lists a whole host of publications and news sites you’ll recognize, which is why I was really surprised to see her write an attack piece disguised as opinion that leads you to believe the women featured in Pin-Ups For Vets are coming after husbands DoD wide. Using language such as, “some busty veteran supporting pin-up girl” and “using sex as support,” Amy continually degraded Gina and the PUFV Ambassadors. I can say with no doubt no one representing PUFV has used sex as support. Are pin-ups sexy? Yes, and there is a huge difference between sexy and sex. For a journalist, semantics are a shield they can’t hide behind. Words are chosen to reflect true feelings.
Gina reached out to SpouseBUZZ through their integrated comments section. She provided background on the organization. She gave a rundown of their programs. She explained how the hit piece written and published by Amy Bushatz negatively affected the Ambassadors. She was ignored.
I have known Gina for years and am proud to support her. Earlier today, I issued a public call for SpouseBUZZ, Military.com, and Amy Bushatz to issue an apology. Why? In Gina’s own words, “Our Pin-Ups For Vets Ambassadors were very hurt by Amy’s article after all they have done for Veterans. Last Independence Day–we had almost 20 ladies give up their holiday to spend the day with hospitalized Veterans at the VA hospital going room to room to spend time with the patients. I will never understand how someone can tear down people who are so dedicated to giving back in such a classy way.”
Empowering women is a topic that can’t be escaped in today’s society. Women are applauded for being strong and many work tirelessly to effect change in this world. It is incredibly disgusting to see a group of women degraded and relegated to sex objects after they give of themselves to benefit others. We should be supporting Gina and the PUFV Ambassadors, not tearing them down.
Amy, you owe Gina and the Ambassadors the most humble of apologies. Your attack piece must come down now. You cannot hide behind it as an “opinion piece.” Most simply, you should be ashamed for what you have written.
Want to support Pin-Ups For Vets? Buy a 2015 Pin-Ups For Vets calendar.