Friday, September 9, 2016

National Anthem/Patriotism/Military/Protest


It seems to have gone on forever, this linking protests and actions like Colin Kaepernick's and John Carlo's of decades ago (who I've met, and was a fine guy) with showing disrespect for people in the military or who have been in the military.  I'm having none of it. 

I was in the military, and was in one of our countries fine little wars, part of 1966 through most of '68, with a short recess in Bethesda Medical Center. To say that someone who is protesting the way our country has treated and is treating minorities is somehow insulting me by choosing to not stand for the national anthem is bullshit. 

In fact, if the national anthem is somehow linked to the war we waged in Vietnam, I ain't standing either. We barged into the middle of a civil war that had been going on for decades on a trumped up charge (Gulf of Tonkin Incident) and probably supported the wrong side.  The 'domino theory', that if South Vietnam fell to the North communism would spread around the globe was a load of crap. 

Just speaking for myself here. Only three other vets I know about that read this, and I don't speak for them.  If somehow not standing during the anthem can move us one micrometer forward in the arena of racism, I'm sitting too.   

Cheers,
Mike


20 comments:

  1. Loving one's country is not blind love. And while he could have selected a more effective method, this clearly has caught people's attention.

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    1. I've never fully understood the idea of loving one's own country. As in a national thing. My love for the rocky mtns should stop at the border with canada? I should love the land that the headquarters of the kkk sit's on as well as my backyard?
      No, indeed it is not blind love, nor is it 'love' on my part, as I understand the word. I love the canyon of the big hole river below jerry creek, I dislike the stretch of I90 between Spokane and Seattle.
      I don't love anyplace for it's geographical location, as in being in the arbitrary boundary of any country.
      So I guess in that respect, no, I don't 'love' this country, any more than I do any other place I like.
      Cheers, Mike.
      Sorry I got so long winded here.

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    2. Oh, and I sure as hell don't 'love' this country for it's conduct internationally, and it's internal conduct with the first peoples on this land. What we did in WW2 and afterwards was damned commendable. What we did before and after that often a lot less so.
      again,
      cheers,
      Mike

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  3. Great post Mike. I appreciate your honesty.
    Free speech, free expression is one of the liberties and benefits of life under our red, white and blue. That you are a veteran and not offended helps frame this discussion. Personally I think that taking a knee is at the same time deferential to the history and sacrifice symbolized in the flag and a way of saying all is not well under well in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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    1. Well said, Tom. Your most recent post somewhat prompted mine, that and some 'editorials' in a few national newspapers.

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  4. Mr. Kaepernick's polite refusal to stand was immediately reminiscent of Carlos and Smith with gloved fists raised and heads bowed in 1968. They demonstrated a hope for equal rights and a better nation. Their patriotism is unimpeachable.

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  5. I'm a veteran, I'm not insulted. Non-violent protest is still the best way to go. I don't know how more effective an action Colin Kaepernick could have taken that wouldn't have been reviled. He risks losing his career and, in many parts of our country, all across the nation, his life by protesting at all.

    Veterans were led to believe we were upholding, protecting our rights and privileges as American citizens by serving. We have not only the right to free speech, freedom of expression, we have (I believe) an obligation to exercise those rights when we see something we believe to be wrong in the way our nation is operating. Mr. Kaepernick was exercising his right, fulfilling his obligation even, to protest what he sees is wrong in America. I support, uphold and defend his right to protest, especially in a non-violent manner, to express his concerns for the direction our nation is going.

    Ours is not a perfect nation, none are. I love my country, and as Tabor wrote, my love is not a blind love. Neither is Kaepernick's. We all fight different battles in the name of that love.

    Thanks, Mike, for this post, for opening the floor to comments on this subject.

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    1. You are welcome, Martha. You're one hell of a vet. Hope things are well with you, and heath is ok.

      Mike

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  6. We can only affect the sphere around us, for good or bad. Kaepernick's sphere is bigger than most. Carry on, young man.

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    1. Thanks Robbie. How's life there, you've been quiet on line lately, assume you are busy there.

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    2. Quite busy. Hopefully as things wind down I'll find more time to post.

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  8. I've often wondered why not a different song - like 'God Bless America' for instance?

    I agree wholeheartedly with your take on this, Mike.

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    1. I might stand for Jimi's rendition, though. If I had some of Stan Owsley's creation to inspire me.

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  9. I am a veteran (only did one enlistment) and I am married to a career submariner with 18 years in and we're not sure how many more to go. I wholeheartedly believe in everything you've said here.

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