Like some other veterans, or maybe it is just me, I’m embarrassed when you thank me for my service. It’s because we feel that we were just doing our duty, just doing our job. Because I’m flustered I don’t often remember that this is what I want to respond:
“No, as a veteran, I want to thank you for taking the freedom we’ve defended and using it to live your life to the fullest and paying it forward by being all that you can be and, when possible, lifting up just one other person. It is our honor to serve.”
Let’s get this straight: I am an American veteran, I served during Viet Nam, had a shipmate killed in action, spent a third of an active duty Navy career at sea, away from family, born in Columbus Ohio of a father who served in WWII and Korea and for an additional twenty years and rests in Arlington National Cemetary. I am a registered Republican, have belonged to the NRA, pay my taxes, read, believe, and defend the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the United States Constitution. And, Venessa Hicks’ photograph
MAKES ME PROUD! The flag as a cradle is the perfect illustration of this country as the cradle of liberty. It illustrates and honors the sacrifice and service that Vanessa Hicks, a fellow veteran, I, my family, have made and the Clevenger family is making to defend what this photograph so reverently illustrates.
I stand up, not in protest, but to salute Vanessa Hicks and the Clevenger Family.
Raymond Hasson, QMC (SS)
United States Navy (Ret)