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Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by Ed Ely, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Ed Ely

    Ed Ely Mr. Wonderful

    Just wanted to post this, which I received from a
    good friend who is retired Army:

    Following is a letter which a good friend, Ret'd Army MG Vern Lewis, asked me to pass on to my associates. I think he has a great idea, and if you agree, hope you will pass it on to your retired mil contacts.

    I gathered some 16 of my old military friends who agreed to sponsor a movement for Veterans to salute rather than place their hands over their heart when honoring the flag, fallen comrades, and/or the country. I have some from each of the four principal services. Three of them were former Vice Chiefs or Assistant Commandants of their services, and several were former CINC's.

    We refer to saluting when we do the pledge to the flag, when the National Colors pass or are presented, when the National Anthem or honors are played, or when taps are played and firing squads or guns render honors.

    We got MOAA magazine to ask veterans what they preferred, hand over the heart or saluting. When last I looked, some 583 veteran respondents had voted 81% in favor of the salute. In addition, my email address was in the questionnaire and I've had about 150 responses, with all but a dozen or so in favor of the salute. Obviously an overwhelming majority of the veterans want to salute.

    There are no regulations telling us veterans what we can and can't do in this matter. If we decide we want to salute, who will dare to tell us "no"?

    It is a matter of personal choice. We've earned the right to render a salute. Now the challenge is to get the word out. I believe the unit and branch associations are the best way. The commanders of the American Legion and VFW never answered my emails, presuming they even got them. If we can get this started it will take on a life of its own. Those who object can continue the hand over the heart thing. Gradually the custom will change, as well it should.

    Just imagine thousands of fans saluting at NFL, MBA, and Major League Baseball games when the National Anthem is played. It will telegraph a message to all others of how many have served this country in the Armed Forces---it will be a positive and patriotic message.

    You can help by putting the word out in your organizations, which are made up of patriots like you and me. Thanks, my friend.

  2. habu3


    Aug 17, 2005
    Northern VA
    Thanks! This is a great idea.

  3. RussP

    RussP Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    Damn fine idea... :patriot:


    Mar 16, 2006
    Damn straight, we have !!!!! And I do, every chance I get. I live near a National Cemetery which is co-located with the V.A. facility. The other day as I was driving out of the grounds, a hearse and cortege of several cars drove in, and turned up towards the chapel, for a veteran's funeral. I immediately stopped my car, exited, and drew up into the tightest salute form I'd practiced since Kennedy died. And, guess what !? Each car behind me also stopped and the occupants got out and saluted. We stood fast until the last car\ passed. Now that's the way it oughta be! Always! We were in it together, and I never un-swore that oath!
  5. RussP

    RussP Moderator

    Jan 23, 2003
    Central Virginia
    Amen, and that is the reason saluting is so very important to us!!
  6. WIG19

    WIG19 Light left on

    Oct 27, 2003
    Renegade State
    Yep. I quit putting my hand over my heart when I left Jr High and they took the Pledge out of the curriculum (SoCal, another reason I left). By then it was Jr ROTC and have been under Uncle Sam's umbrella in one form or another ever since, bound to the same oath. When the situation merits, I snap a salute out of reflex. Don't know no other way at this point.

  7. RetDet

    RetDet Millennium Member

    Nov 2, 1999