- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last night I was at a concert by Ruthie Foster, a terrific young R&B singer from Texas — think Norah Jones meets Lyle Lovett, with a bit of Cassandra Wilson and the Blind Boys of Alabama mixed in. In the middle of it she gave a shoutout to the Navy, mentioning that she’d served four happy years in it. This was the first time I’d heard something like that from a young performer of popular music. It made me think that Jimi Hendrix never gave a shoutout to the 101st Airborne — but of course he got himself discharged after a year.