I'm not a flag waver, but have to admit I love our flag. With all that is going on in the world today people seem to draw a line. I don't stand on one or the other, but as a young trooper taking basic training at Ft. Knox, I remember the lithos in our orderly room, pictures of battles our nation fought since the Revolutionary War to the present.  I remember one that stuck out, a group of soldiers charging, a flag waving, and the caption was "I am never so proud as to be a fighting man in a foreign country defending my nation." 

I was assigned to a group of people to join a large sweep on a search and destroy mission in the Central Highlands with the 1st Cavalry. As we formed up, troops to my left and right flanks about to go through the jungle, I noticed a young black solider pulled out a pair of poles and attached to them was a large American flag. The wind behind us made it wave forward. It hit me then, the saying from the litho, here I am an American fighting man overseas defending our nation. It sent chills through me. This was real. The moment was special, but as we progressed forward it was impractical to carry a flag, so he put it away. But the feeling was there and still with me.

Sure politics and things change, but for me, I feel blessed to have had that experience, short as it may have been, but it was real. The next time someone wants to burn or protest it, I'd have to ask them, "Have you ever been behind it? Have you ever felt what others before have paid so you can have your opinion It's not free, but you are."

God bless our nation and those who paid for it.



Originally posted on 1st Cavalry Association Guest Book, April 14, 2003
by, and included here with permission from R. Thom Jefferson.

İR. Thom Jefferson, 2003-2009, All Rights Reserved.