There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the United States flag due to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem. And while I may have differing views from him, this post isn’t a deconstruction of those views. Instead, it’s my story of my flag.
Ask any kid who grew up on a military base what happens at 5 o’clock in the afternoon and they’ll tell you – the flag is taken down. The call of retreat is played and everyone stops. Literally. Cars stop in the road, soldiers take off their cover and stand at attention, and kids stop playing. My father always made it a point to respect the flag going down (and probably when it was raised, while I was fast asleep). Although you didn’t have to get out of the car, my father did.
He never talked extensively about his military service, likely because he couldn’t. I would hear the occasional work gripes – usually about a computer issue. (At the time, I didn’t know that my father was more than just the IT guy of his unit because he did so much more.) But I know he was proud to serve and fight for his country. I remember a phone conversation I had with him.