Why I Served

I served in the United States Army, the Army National Guard, and the United States Army Reserves for over thirty years.  I retired as a Colonel.  I consider myself, like my father before me, a quiet Patriot.  I stand and place my hand over by heart when the National Anthem is played.  I render proper honors to the flag when it is raised in the morning or lowered in the afternoon.  When I hear the mournful sound of taps being played I get a lump in my throat as I know another veteran is being laid to rest.

For the last several days there has been a lot of high bile and spleenitis over the fact that some players in major league baseball and football have decided not to stand for the National Anthem.  It all began when the President took to twitter and in a speech called them out.

One of the reasons I served in the military was to protect the freedoms we enjoy.  The freedoms found in the Constitution of the United States, the freedoms found in the Bill of Rights.  Among those freedom is the “Freedom of Speech.”  Not standing for the National Anthem is a form of speech.  It is a way of making a statement, it is a way of sending a message.  I served to preserve and protect the Constitution, I served to preserve and protect the right of those who refused to stand, to preserve and protect the right of those to disagree with them not standing, and yes, to preserve and protect the right of the President to say and tweet what he thinks.

Without freedom of speech, there can truly be no liberty and justice for all.

About keydet1976

Retired as a Colonel in the United States Army after 33 years of service. Graduate of the VMI, MA in History at JMU, completed course work for Ph.D in History University of Tennessee.
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6 Responses to Why I Served

  1. DaveO says:

    It started when Colin Kaepermik decided to be the public face of Black Lives Matter and use kneeling during Our National Anthem to protest the police and the acquittal of the white police officer. These professional athletes are being either stupid or disingenuous. They say they want unity and to just play ball — wait for it — by segregating themselves from the fans/customers. Folks don’t want a holier-than-thou middle finger from a multimillionaire who got a whole lotta help getting through school. The customers want football. Baseball. Basketball. These things bring them together. Now, little kids in Pop Warner are imitating their heroes with zero clue about what is going on. So I guess we might as well define deviancy down and scrap the anthem altogether. Taps too, since that reminds the hippies that a man has lived, and died.

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  2. burkemblog says:

    I’m on Townie’s side. I think that the players’ actions have become a convenient scapegoat/substitute for thinking by many of the folks who seem to post so vehemently that they’re boycotting the NFL, that they want everyone to stand for the anthem; reminds me of the mindless demands for the pledge of allegiance, mostly made by folks who have no idea where the pledeg originated. One of the original verses of the anthem included a reference to the freed slaves who helped defend Ft McHenry–that has disappeared from the debate.

    I wonder when people are going to connect the dots: what makes professional sports, particularly football, a profitable enterprise is their antitrust exemption; public spending on stadiums; massive cable TV bills paid for by middle Americans (about a third of the average cable bill is ESPN and its offspring–try buying cable without it); the upending of college admissions to bring in enough athletes to make a university competitive in D-1 ball, the pipeline to the NFL; the rank exploitation of players who have lousy prospects after injury–and oh, that CTE thing. If that’s not enough, think how many millions the Department of Defense pays the NFL for the “patriotic” displays at the beginning of games.

    The entire business model of the NFL (which is itself a non-profit, while each team is a for-profit organization) is based on exploiting players, taxpayers and consumers. We should all take a knee and boycott it. But not because of Colin Kaepernick. Because of Roger Goodell, Stan Kronke, and the other owners who are fleecing Americans every day. Only the Packers, in my mind, come close to a true fan-based entity because they’re owned by the citizens of Green Bay.

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  3. DaveO says:

    How is pledging allegiance mindless? Why are unity, community, and mutual such evils to the Left? Yes, the NFL is garbage — this is my 3rd season boycotting it — but every institutional action that informs and binds one American to the rest is mindless? Wvil?

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  4. burkemblog says:

    It’s mindless because we valorize the mere reciting of it, not what it means, or its history. That’s my beef. Are you assuming I’m “on the Left”? Not a good assumption, DaveO.

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    • DaveO says:

      I said the Left. Townie introduced you as such, and I had no reason to doubt him. How is reciting the pledge valorizing it? How is meaning to honor the pledge made a trivial thing? Is it intrinsically good to disassociate from one’s fellow citizens — to say ‘whatver side you are on, I am not with you’? The hilarity is that players on a team are protesting the team/unity/community. Very contradictory.

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  5. slater says:

    The moment Kaepernick put on an Ernesto shirt the world should have woken the frick up. But it seems this country has failed at educating it’s young people.

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