Today is the official day we choose to honor the veterans of our country. I was raised for apart of my life, as an Air Force dependent. My stepfather was a lifer, retiring as a Chief Master Sergeant. I unashamedly declare my patriotism for the United States of America. Still. Always.
The temperature of this country has amplified the slightest miconstrued gesture such as say, the NFL players kneeling as a sign of protest while the flag is raised. I contend that yes, it can be seen as disrespectful, but it is EXACTLY the right thing to do to prove you are truly a citizen of the greatest free country on this planet. It’s what we do. We’re Americans. We don’t sit on the sidelines. The players (and I am including all sports now) did not burn any cars, they didn’t throw any rocks, hurt anyone, or committed any crime. They refused to stand for the symbol of the greatest free country on the planet because it certainly wasn’t behaving like it. I admit, at first I was a bit put off, but thought about it, and my skepticism soon turned to pride.
I never served in the military but still retain the highest respect for them—every branch: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. I wanted to be Maverick or Iceman when I grew up. A fighter ace on an aircraft carrier zooming across the sky and looking quite studly in my dress whites. The only problem I encountered to truncate that dream was from an earlier childhood episode.
I was 4 or 5 (come on, it was 61 or 62 years ago) and I was at my own birthday. I was playing outside when someone stole my birthday hat and ran across the street with it. In my pursuit, an oncoming truck did not see me and knocked me in the air. I remember waking up in the back of the ambulance and everyone was TOO happy. Long story short, my brain waves were altered by the accident and I was ineligible to apply to any of the services. I would’ve been the hell Maverick.