Joining any branch of the military is an honor, and one that is taken seriously. People join for a variety of reasons, including wanting a regular paycheck and the benefits that come with joining any branch of service. Most understand the responsibility that comes with a life committed to serving our country.
At the end of the workday, usually 5 p.m., the National Anthem is blasted across the entire base for all to hear. Living on a military installation as a military dependent, it was heartwarming for me to observe the service member stop and face the flag, or the direction of the music, standing to attention with a salute until the final note of the anthem was played. After that, they carried on with their business.
Children of all ages might be outside playing, but the moment the Anthem starts those same children would also stand to attention, facing the music, and place their right hand over their heart for the duration of the Anthem. No one dared not to participate; if someone couldn’t hear the music, others would whisper loudly, “Taps!”
A family member who had grown up within the military community and joined the service as an adult, stated, “Reality hits home during Basic knowing that others depend on you for their life, and your life is in the hands of others in the field with you.”
Unfortunately the news has been quite full of military members who have shown blatant disrespect for our flag. One of the more contemptible instances was that of a female soldier who, while hiding in car so she “doesn’t have to salute the flag” posted a selfie with an appalling message to Instagram stating she didn’t care what people thought. Evidently she was more proud of her disrespect than the flag.
This sounds like a form of treason to me.
Another instance occurred during a military funeral. Military funerals are meant to be dignified, as either fallen soldiers or military veterans are being honored for their ultimate sacrifice and service. The people assigned to funeral duty have a serious responsibility to be respectful for the duration of the funeral – including pre and post funeral duty. One female soldier (why is it all females?) posted to Instagram that she and her coworkers “put the fun in funeral” and included a picture of her fellow soldiers goofing around. Some of the comments underneath the article stated that the coffin was empty and it was a practice—but in my opinion that doesn’t matter. These individuals were assigned to funeral duty and displayed a severe lack of decorum by acting childish around a flag draped coffin, taking a photograph and posting it on social media.
These are just two recent instances in which service members have displayed their disrespectful antics for the world to see–and seem proud of it. Of course, with a Commander-in-Chief who has apologized to most of the world (or at least to those who hate America), is it any wonder we’re seeing more of this reprehensible behavior?