Friday, October 31, 2008

From Roger Simpson, PIO: Saluting is an Obligation and Right, not a Privilege

I received dozens of emails about the left-handed salute photo included yesterday in the official VA announcement about veterans now having the lawful right to salute our flag.

Saluting our flag is an obligation of men and women who actively serve, whether or not they are in uniform. As announced yesterday, military veterans now have the lawful right to salute. Non-military Americans do not have share in that right. Non-military Americans continue the privilege (in some places they are required) of placing their right hand over their heart. However, because unidentified veterans in civilian dress now have the right to salute our flag many non-military Americans who witness unidentified veterans saluting will mistakenly believe they also have the right to salute.

Military veterans can help police the law and maintain their exclusive right to salute, while at the same time educate non-military Americans simply by ensuring that when you attend a public gathering where the National Anthem is played you ALSO wear a military item, such as a medal, ribbon, Association cap or other item that clearly identifies you as a military veteran. Congressionally chartered veterans organizations have the responsibility to educate crowd announcers to correctly inform attendees that ONLY the military and military veterans may salute while non-military attendees should place their right hand over their hearts.

Saluting our flag is a obligation and now a right extended only to those who are serving or have served. Let's all work together to ensure our right (and obligation) is not abused, while at the same time serving as a highly visible encouragement to young people to join our military in order to gain our right to salute.

Lastly, veterans who are unable to salute with their right hand are permitted to salute with their left hand. Again, please wear a medal, ribbon or other item that clearly identifies you are a veteran so that non-military Americans who witness your legal right to salute will not be misled to believe they share your rights.

Contact Person for this posting: Roger Simpson, PIO
Public Information Office: http://www.13105320
The American War Library: http://www.amervets .com/
16907 Brighton Avenue
Gardena CA 90247-5420
Phone / Fax: 1-310-532-0634

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