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‘This mans military,’ — a response from a veteran

Recently, a non-veteran expressed his objection to an earlier article that I wrote about “kneeling during the national anthem.” Everyone has their own opinion, but I believe that there are parts of that article that I believe are wrong, or you can call it a “euphemism,” as that author did.

I can not, and will not, agree with his philosophy of his opinions. Especially stating that he had “an imaginary discussion” with his father on racism, the American flag and the national anthem. Since his father was a veteran in WWII, I believe (his father) wouldn’t have agreed with anyone, especially veterans, that kneeling during our country’s anthem is okay.

I have discussed this with many WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans of all races about that subject. I did not have one state that it was okay to do that. At one time or another in a wartime arena, most will see their buddy pay the ultimate sacrifice. Some, like myself, will never forget those that did. I, for one had to drape many flags over caskets and had to take them off and fold them to present to their spouses or next of kin during funerals.

What I am getting at — when other people kneel during that same ceremony — puts a bad taste in other people’s mouths. They might say that it was for “protesting racial injustice,” but why during that exact moment? I believe that, by kneeling, they are disrespecting all veterans and their families.

I am sure that those who do kneel have veterans in their family that have passed on or are still with them. I think they would agree with protesting at any other time rather than during the anthem.

Every time the anthem plays, I, and many other veterans, take time to thank those that did pay the ultimate price and thank their family for their loss, and the loss of the children having to live without their father or mother.

Also stating that “This man’s army” was, in many ways, a euphemism for our country in 1976. I was proud to be in the U.S. Army. In 1976, I had just left Vietnam a few years earlier, leaving five of my buddies on the battlefield that did not come home to their families. They paid the ultimate sacrifice. I think about them and others every night when I shut my eyes when I attempt to go to sleep. Their faces are tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. Due to this, I not only suffer from PTSD, but also survivors’ guilt. And are we really myopic? Don’t get me started.

Being any race or religion has no bearing on who does or why to kneel. There are plenty of other times to kneel and/or protest. Not during the national anthem.

There was also a comment about seeing “Vietnam body counts” and racist killings in America during supper as they watched TV news. Neither are good to watch on TV at any time. But seeing body counts on TV is nothing like seeing it live.

Being white, black, brown, green, yellow or any color should not make a difference on who protests. But not during the anthem. Try it in anther country and see what happens. This is not a “politically correct” form of protest.

I think the author attempted to use some words that maybe he did not quite know the meaning of, so I have listed the meanings for everybody’s convenience.

Euphemism: A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

Myopic: Lacking imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight. Narrow in perspective and without concern for broader implications.

So, in summary I stand by my words and thoughts as I am sure most Americans would also. If you think I am wrong or right, email me your thoughts. The emails I received about the kneeling article were many and thanking me for writing that article. Email me at

— Royal D. Goodman, U.S. Army/Vietnam,

1st Cav/9th Infantry


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