Commentary

July 19, 2013

Avoiding retreat is cowardly

Tags:
Jo Rowe
81st Inpatient Operations Squadron

Airman 1st Class Timothy Hilton, Senior Airman Alan Ruiz, and Airman 1st Class John Varner, 99th Air Base Wing Honor Guard members, carry the flag after taking part in the daily retreat March 13 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Honor Guard takes down the flag for retreat every Tuesday, Thursday and the Security Forces squadron takes it down the rest of the week.

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — It was one of the first beautiful days in a very long while in and around Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. Rain was predicted, but I was hoping it would hold out until I completed the walk to my on-base residence.

As I was about to walk out of the Maisey Building, I noticed three enlisted members, three officers and one civilian with her newborn waiting by the exit doors; such a big pile-up for this time of day.

My heart sank. Could it be those deep blue skies and white puffy clouds turned dark gray with huge raindrops just waiting to signal the burst? Or was the rolling of the thunder and the dancing of the lightning enough to crowd everyone back into the building until the coast was clear? Nope … Neither.

To my extreme disappointment, these people were “self locked” inside, because they didn’t want to be caught outside during the playing of our national anthem.

I was very saddened.

As my husband and I approached the door, everyone parted for us to get past. As we were walking through the doors, the music stopped. Everyone piled out as if a store had just announced 75 percent off at a day-after-Christmas sale.

I said to my husband, “You know what, honey? I am really sickened when I see people who refuse to come outside and acknowledge our National Anthem. Have they forgotten that this song, along with other things, stands for our freedom? What are they afraid of? The cowards!”

Even I, a dependent spouse at that time, am familiar with the courtesies we are supposed to observe when the national anthem is being played. Even though my husband was shocked to hear me call people whom I did not know cowards, he said he understood.

I have always felt this way. If you appreciate what you have, who you are and where you come from, you should appreciate the national anthem and all it represents.

My husband tried to tell me that hiding like that was, indeed, against military courtesies, but I tuned him out as I continued to ramble on about how insensitive I felt these people were.

What on earth was keeping those folks from standing proud and saluting or placing their hand over their hearts? No excuse is acceptable.

So I looked around as everyone rushed to their cars and I thought of the men and women fighting for our freedom. I thought of how proud I am of each and every one of them and how they wouldn’t be proud of those Americans who chose to stay inside instead of coming out to salute their flag – the very item that drapes the coffins of our fallen to their final resting place.

Maybe my words here will help change for the better, the courtesies we render, or ought to render, during reveille and retreat on base.

Don’t cower from the nation anthem. Be proud. Go outside and salute the flag, or place your hand over your heart and stand tall. If not for yourself, then do it for your American brothers and sisters fighting to keep you free.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Just American: A century of Black life

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) — Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson....
 
 

Don’t underestimate importance of sacrifices

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — As I was reviewing some enlisted performance reports and decorations, I started contemplating a huge event in my life that occurred almost 20 years ago. In April 1995, I asked my then girlfriend Tiffani, a fellow Airman at the time, to be my wife, for better or worse. We...
 
 

I wanted to die

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — Two months ago, I wanted to die. Allow me to clarify — I was not suicidal on that dark, August night when I hit rock bottom. I did not want to take a razor to my wrists. I did not want to swallow a bottle of pills. I did not want to...
 

 

What I’ve learned, an Airman’s perspective

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — When I raised my right hand and swore to defend my country, I wanted to travel the world and continue my education. I managed to accomplish the first, spending the first two years of my enlistment at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Osan Air Base, South Korea, but my ever-changing...
 
 

Air Force Medicine: A vision for future

WASHINGTON  — The United States Air Force’s core missions are air and space superiority, ISR (intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance), rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control. These are almost identical (but in different terms) to the missions the Air Force had in 1947. But we now do these missions in three domains: Air, space...
 
 

I really shouldn’t be here

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — A couple of feet and a half a second. These may seem like insignificant measurements; but when combined with fatigue, a couple of feet almost cost me my career, and that half a second almost ended my life. There was a time when I was an enlisted aircraft electrical...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin