November 6, 2017

Battle Blog: Standing for Our Veterans

This isn’t about a debate over NFL players and their protest or how they go about it. This isn’t a political football or football wrapped in politics.

This is about honor and respect, pure and simple, for the men and women who have served in our nation’s military. Our flag stands for freedom, equality, a great country, and those who serve it.

This Saturday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. In Huntsville, with thousands of veterans who enrich our community and the presence of Redstone Arsenal and its myriad operations, one day isn’t enough. We celebrate a Veterans Week, and that’s the way it should be across the state.

It’s a particularly special Veterans Week for us because one of our own, retired U.S. Army Captain Mike Rose, was presented the Medal of Honor last month. Rose, a medic, saved countless lives on a dangerous top-secret mission. Because it was top secret, it was years before the story was revealed, and it was 47 years after his heroic feats before Rose was honored.

The greatest American symbol is our flag. What we’ve encouraged – challenged, really – is for people to display their red, white and blue all this week. You may have seen the video we did about it.

As I say in the video, our veterans have earned our respect, and our flag deserves to be honored. I believe if you appreciate our country’s freedoms, then you stand for our country’s symbol. If you agree, then show your support for those who served and for our country and fly your flag through Veterans Day to honor all of them.

Huntsville is hardly the only city in our state with such a strong connection to the military. There are bases all across our state. Many military personnel have recognized that Alabama is a wonderful place to which they can retire and find fulfilling work after life in military service.

What we’ve seen in Huntsville and everywhere in our state is that many of the most active leaders in business, in government, in non-profit organizations are veterans. Service to others just seems to be ingrained in them. It was part of their DNA while in uniform, and it’s in their DNA as private citizens. Day-in and day-out, they are people I always know I can count on.

So, on Veterans Week, please join me in honoring and thanking the veterans among us. Honor them not just for their dedicated service in far-away lands but also right here at home.

And one of the best ways to do that is to show your colors. As important as I believe as it is to salute the flag, flying the flag is the perfect way to salute the veterans.