MEMORIES OF AN OLD MAN.
I remember the thirties.
I remember the poverty.
I remember people with college degrees begging for jobs as delivery boys.
I remember working all day for 50 cents.
I remember when I was about to be drafted to go into the army and crawl through rice fields in Korea and be killed.
I remember joining the Navy so I could have a shower before I died.
I remember donating shoes to send to our army in Korea because our defense budget could not afford to buy them.
I remember visiting countries where we traveled in groups for safety.
I remember seeing poverty so bad the people did not care about living.
I remember seeing young people offering to sell themselves for pennies.
And how I remembered seeing our flag flying over our possessions, our military bases and our ships at sea.
I remember seeing that flag and the protection and warmth it offered me and my comrades. When we were close to that flag we were embraced in a cocoon of protection and comfort.
Many of our veterans have died to protect that flag and make it strong.
I remember a number of almost a million servicemen and women have died so that flag can fly and lead us back to warmth and protection.
Our veterans who have died and many, many more who were wounded have asked you for a simple favor, it is an easy favor to ask and you probably think it is trivial and unimportant.
Please, as a very small favor to all who died or were wounded to give protection to your rights and freedom, will you please treat that flag as a part of their lives and think of them when you see it, handle it or retire it.
We veterans beg of you. Please allow us the simple courtesy of protection for that which we hold so dear. It is our life and our sacred duty to protect that flag so it will mark the way for you when you need to seek comfort.
We know we are asking something that might seem to be a sacrifice to you but please remember how much we gave for you and the small favor we ask in return.