I will STAND

“Three Maine roofers put their hammers down and stood up to show respect for the national anthem on Saturday, in the process unknowingly posing for a photo that’s been used to symbolize one side of the contentious nationwide debate about “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

I totally forgot of the Poplar Bluff VA appointment today … good thing for the early reminder.

My appointment was not till 1300 hrs and I got there ‘cautiously‘ early … Brought my Bible and snacks, so I thought I could use the hour, waiting, wisely.

Parked under one of the shade trees, windows open, dog watered, I figured I would give Maya a pee break, like I had previously had upon arrival.

Faithful companion; since 2012 ~ My’Ah dog!

Before tethering her to her lead, she started to howl … OMG, what is this dog doing ‘howling’ in the VA parking lot ?!?! Maya was blessed with, among other things, very keen hearing. She can hear a siren 3 miles away, before I even have a clue!


In the confusion of Maya’s howl, I noticed several fire engines and ambulances lining the streets to direct traffic. Men and women were planting flags, Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Coast Guard and several American flags.   People were coming out from the V.A. center and claiming these flags and started lining up and down Westwood Blvd.  VA security was directing traffic. It was such a spectacle; Maya and I had to investigate and ventured from the ‘heated seat’ towards the crowd.  Walking cane in one hand, Maya in the other, we ‘gimped‘ our way across the field. Coming upon a VA employee I asked, Why the ‘Honors’? He stated it was for a fallen soldier and that the VA does this in respect.  He asked me if I wanted a flag, I declined, as my hands were full. But stated: “I will stand!” and I did, in honor of the fallen soldiers’ service and sacrifice to our nation!

As I watched the procession grow, with VA employees and respectful onlookers, down one side of the busy Poplar Bluff thoroughfare;  I could not help but shed a tear. Here were these people, on their lunch hour, paying respect for our fallen serviceman. Such an Honor!

This is the Heartland, this is the REAL America, where people give a damn! 

As the lights of the procession approached, I panicked! What should I do, should I place my hand over my heart … which hand?!? Should I salute? … I am thinking that is the proper thing to do … How do I salute?!? Mind you, the last time I saluted was in 1975!  Fortunate for me there was a fellow, standing next to my beloved Corps flag who ‘smartly’ snapped to and reminded me; it was just like riding a bike! 

Never, in my 42 years of VA visits, have I witnessed such an honorable display from the V.A.

Thank you John Pershing V.A.!


“In America, we don’t worship government – We worship GodPresident Donald J. Trump

Thank you President Trump and Dr. David J. Shulkin for caring!