Veteran Fired for Saluting During National Anthem

 In Military, opinion, Veterans

This story comes from Cincinnati.com, August 31st. At the start of a baseball game with the Florence Freedom team, a man is at the ticket gate. The sounds of the National Anthem begin…the man stops what he’s doing and salutes the flag for the duration of the Anthem. Meanwhile fans are waiting to get to the game.

 national anthem

Florence Freedom Team lines up for the National Anthem – photo by Gary Landers, WCPO

The President of the Florence Freedom team, “fires” the man for his actions.

There are two things wrong with this scenario. Number one is the lack of respect to our Nation’s Anthem. Number two is the fact that the gentleman in question is a Veteran.

The Veteran is 69 year old Tom Aue. The President of the Florence Freedom team is Clint Brown. When asked by the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper for a comment on the incident, Mr. Brown denies that Mr. Aue was even fired.

Normally it is the teams policy to pause during the playing of the National Anthem. This policy was put on hold for the last regular season games of the Freedom team. Mr. Brown said that the policy will be review before the next season.

Why is there an issue at all?

The fact that there is even an issue here is the problem. When the Anthem is played the fans all stand and whether they put their hands on their heart is a matter of personal choice. Meanwhile,  our Veteran is punished for his display of patriotism.

The policy has always been to pause during the Anthem, except for now. There is no reason that fans on the outside could not wait for a few minutes during the Anthem. Just more indications that the ticket sales were more important than honoring our nation. Disgusting!

Where is our pride in our country? Our Patriotism? Flushed away in a sea of Political Correctness. Heaven forbid that anyone be offended by an “ugly display” of Patriotism, how offensive!

An apology required

I believe the president of this team owes Mr. Aue a public apology , as well as an apology to the people who are his fan base and source of revenue. Shame on you Mr. Brown. No, this story is not blown out of proportion. Nor is it a “smear campaign” against you. It is simply a lack of National pride on your part. Putting money ahead of respect, both for the Veteran and for this Nation as a whole.

There have been questions of whether the National Anthem should be played at all in the beginning of sporting events. BS! The fact that this question is even given a thought speaks volumes about the health of this nation and her patriotism.

National Anthem always played

As  a kid growing up, I played in Little League, and we would all line up, remove our caps and stand up straight and tall out on the field during the playing of the National Anthem. I remember going to a real baseball game with my uncle, the Anthem would come on and the entire crowd would stand. Most would sing the Anthem. I tried, even when it came to the high notes. My 9 or 10 year old voice cracking, because I felt pride in my country. It was the greatest place on earth!

Right after I graduated from HS in 1980, I joined the Air Force. I knew I was part of something big. Much bigger than I had ever known. I learned a lot about this country and why it needs defending. There are a lot of enemies out there with the desire to destroy us, “The Great Satan,” as some of them have called us. I became a part of that defense. I had pride in my country. I swore to defend it with everything I had. Up to and including my life if need be. I still abide by that oath. I never saw an expiration date. No one in authority has relived me of my commitment.

So I know what Mr. Aue felt when the National Anthem was played. I feel the same. I will never just sit and listen to our country’s Anthem. I will always stand, Salute, and probably attempt to sing. Always.

Tom Aue, I salute you! I thank You for your service and your Patriotism for this country. This country needs more Tom Aue’s. In closing I leave you with this:

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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