Try Being Real Role Models

Editor, News-Register:

I was 23 and stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., when my commander got the dreaded late night call from the Red Cross that I needed to go home. My father had died. A World War II veteran, a flag-draped coffin, and three of four sons in uniform saluting as taps was played. Then my next older brother and I fold the flag. He was shaking, I stayed focused … numb, but focused. I laid the flag in his arms and saluted. He in turn handed it to our next older brother, who couldn’t serve due to polio in the mid 50s. Then our oldest brother had the honor of laying it on our mother’s lap.

I don’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I will never forget that chilly February morning over three decades ago.

So what does an old crusty retired Army NCO like me think about the NFL national anthem protests? Why do you think I served in the Army for 20 years?! That’s right: I am a firm believer in the rights guaranteed to every American citizen listed in our awesome Constitution and The Bill of Rights. The NFL protesters’ right to protest is sacred. I swore to defend those rights five times and today as a retiree, I still believe. It’s that clean cut.

However, in light of my father’s service; and the 1,300,000 real American heroes who have had their coffins draped by the symbol of our nation … to me, the NFL is no longer an American institution and deserves no respect. With tremendous arrogance teams are standing united behind the protesters. Good for them. With literally millions of dollars in their bank accounts, bravery is folly.

This is how freedom works. You have the freedom to do certain things, but you are not immune to the consequences of those actions. So don’t be suprised when your stadiums are near empty and your most loyal fans don’t tune in on Sundays.

The last word I got was that your protests are in support of an out-of-work quarterback who wears cops are pigs socks and Che Guevera T-shirts. Something about social injustice. I’m not impressed. Here’s an idea: In the off-season, take your spoiled milennial millionaire jock straps to the inner cities of America and mentor some lost teenagers. Give them some hope and direction instead of this disgusting display of what it doesn’t mean to be a role model.

Paul Dorsey, SFC, U.S. Army (retired)

Bluefield, W.Va.