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.