11 votes

Two incidents: One involving the US Flag, the other Veteran appeasement!

This weekend I was able to get away from my home life and partake in an all day boating excursion on a popular Oregon lake. This all day trip found us anchored and swimming, tubing and grinning and blasting a reverb over the lake not even the county sheriffs cared to confront us about. Our boat was tagged, safe and even in the midst of boozing and smoking, we were not confronted about our happy and contagious behavior.

Right before we began tubing my cousin pulled out a beautiful miniature US flag and placed it in the back hole-spot of the boat. As he did so, the others on the boat began saluting and humming, "The Star Spangled Banner". I found myself rather uncomfortable and without urge or heartfelt obligation to follow suit. I did not salute and I did not hum. Soon after I pointed out in all my calculated inebriation that this is what we die and kill for...a piece of cloth. Yes, the ideals and principles behind the symbolism are of course an argument, however those ideals and principles are cemented in the stripes of red and white and the blue therein cradling the stars.

Later that evening after we had pulled the boat from the lake and departed the heavenly mirrors of sky of that day, we stopped at a gritty convenience store to get some more booze. As I was leaving the man in front of me in line exited the store the same time and we struck up an intoxicated conversation. He said, "I'm 64 years old, served two years in Nam". I replied, "Oh". The conversation was over sooner than it began and when I arrived back at the truck I told the others about the conversation they witnessed across the street from me. When I told them what the man said to me my cousin responded, "that's when you say thank you for your service!"

Let me kindly give my two cents on these matters. I did not and will not salute a symbol long eroded of principle meaning and purpose. I cannot fall into line and turn a blind eye to addresses our nation has assumed in the name of democracy and freedom. And I will not thank a stranger for service when I may be thanking them for killing others and following treasonous orders. I felt in those two brief moments as if I was unable to fall into line any longer. No, I do not salute a piece of cloth stripped of meaning and I will not thank someone for something I know absolutely nothing about, especially when my thanks might be for the dead of children, women, men...my fellow humans.

Peace and Love always.

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For What?

I see a lot of people thanking cops. Growing up here & after seeing what I saw as a young man in 1968, I'm wondering why. I too, was taught to respect the police. After all, who else can beat you, lock you up, impound your car, then extract more money from you in non jury courts on trumped up charges whenever they feel like it. What they really should be called is armed corporate revenue enforcement agents. There is no constitutional provision for their existence. They only feed the Admiralty (commerce) legal system established here since the days of FDR.

Flag of hate!

All government flags are truly flags of hate.

When people thank me

When people thank me for my "service", I get a creepy feeling and it's about all I can do to not respond "what the hell are you talking about? Do you have ANY idea who I was really serving? Do you believe that I was serving you or, more importantly, liberty?".

I was in for four+ years during a time of relative peace. Although I was airborne infantry, thankfully, my unit was not engaged in a shooting match with anyone for the entire 4 years.

I have a strange mix of emotions about my time in "service". There is a part of me that knows, in my heart, I was "serving" for all the right reasons. Like most young men, I believed all that crap about being patriotic and defending freedom and the "American Way". That's what I was serving. I was simply too ignorant and naïve to understand that it was a con job and I was serving evil interests. So, part of me is proud of my "service" and part of me is ashamed of my "service" and I have a hard time reconciling the two. Thankfully, I don't have to live with the ghosts of any men that I killed. I don't know how I could live with that knowing what I now know.

I get the impression...

there may be many vets here at the DP. It seems to always strike a conversation when posting threads about veterans, the US flag and service. I feel it is a positive thing to converse about these vital aspects of our culture.

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness

There are a lot of vets here,

There are a lot of vets here, and I am one. When people choose to engage in discussions about my time in Iraq (I don't force discussions), I tell them I was young, stupid, and conned into killing people that posed no threat to America. I tell them that all I did was risk my life so some rich dudes could get richer, and it was not only not helping to make my country safe, but to the detriment of my country's security by creating more enemies that would seek revenge.

This usually stuns them well enough, especially since they have been brainwashed to "honor" vets. From now on I think I will follow that up with saying that nationalism is an infantile disease, and ask them if they have any spare U.S. flags I can burn.

On Appeasement

I wouldn't thank a vet for his service either, and it bugs me when people thank me for mine. I don't make a huge issue of it either way, but when presented with opportunities like yours my typical response (whether he cites the 'Nam or Iraq) is usually, "I'm glad you made it back." That's probably more sincere than not as most people do have SOME redemptive value.

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I like your advice...

it's hard for me to relate and I usually feel uncomfortable around talk of war and service. I feel as if I may lose control and let people know what I really think. Thank you for your response.

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness

Well...It's a Free Country...

...Ain't it?

Anyone else with a burning desire to share?

God grant me the Serenity,
To Accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom, to know the difference.

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

I am less concerned...

about a free country than I am about a free-minded, open-minded and tolerant citizenry...without the latter there truly is no former.

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness

I get where you're coming

I get where you're coming from. On more than one occasion, I've stated that I would love to move out of the US and get away from all the political bs. But, then I think ~ this is our country... we need to fight for it!

The way I see it -- saluting the flag doesn't mean you pledge allegiance to tyranny and the unfit leaders who are drowning us in corruption. You can still salute it based on the original principles and hold yourself to them. It is still YOUR flag. Don't let them take it away from you.

As for vets... the ones I know signed up to serve with the idea that it is a noble thing to do. And as for those who were drafted... they didn't have a choice. I would never hold it against them when they are stuck in a contract and used as pawns. They did not sign up to be pawns or to do the dirty deeds of the tyrants in charge. In today's military, I know many who are completely disgusted with the current state of the US gov't. They don't deserve to be lumped in with the people pulling all the strings, IMO.

...

"Let me kindly give my two cents on these matters. I did not and will not salute a symbol long eroded of principle meaning and purpose. I cannot fall into line and turn a blind eye to addresses our nation has assumed in the name of democracy and freedom. And I will not thank a stranger for service when I may be thanking them for killing others and following treasonous orders. I felt in those two brief moments as if I was unable to fall into line any longer. No, I do not salute a piece of cloth stripped of meaning and I will not thank someone for something I know absolutely nothing about, especially when my thanks might be for the dead of children, women, men...my fellow humans."

I appreciate your response and it is valued. However, what I said was I did not salute a symbol (flag) due to the current state of its condition (erosion of principle meaning and purpose). I don't believe it was ever MY flag. I have a hard time feeling possessive or claiming possession of a symbol so frequently used to retract and expel what it was created to stand for. It is not MY flag...it is representative of the condition of the nation and even if I salute it for the principles by which is was created for, I still cannot salute it without feeling as if my salute is misplaced.

As for the veterans I totally get your point. However, I never brought up why or how they came to join or if their understanding or view of their service was favorable or unfavorable. I merely said, "And I will not thank a stranger for service when I may be thanking them for killing others and following treasonous orders...and I will not thank someone for something I know absolutely nothing about, especially when my thanks might be for the dead of children, women, men...my fellow humans".

I felt as if my withholding of thanks was well purposed based on what I actually said. Peace and Love.

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness

Fair enough! :) As for

Fair enough! :) As for vets... my husband and several friends have said that they would rather not have someone thank them for their service. I understand. I don't typically go around thanking vets... except for the ones I know and admire. Especially the ones who saved my life a couple years ago when I had massive blood clots in my lungs. They are my heroes. It's not all about wars and killing innocent people. (Not that you ever said it was.) Peace & Love to you, too!

How will you convince others

How will you convince others of your cause if you begin by offending them?

Jesus convinced a lot of

Jesus convinced a lot of people although he was constantly offending the religious leaders of the day.

It's not truly offensive

if selfless peace is the motivator...it's threatening by its legitimacy of dignity and attribution to love.

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness

How is it offensive...

to listen to one's conscience with regard to thankfulness of something one knows nothing about?

Father - Husband - Son - Spirit - Consciousness