Veteran feels disrespect toward military, flag from hometown

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To the Editor,

I am a retired U.S. Navy Veteran. I was born here, raised here, left from here, and decided to return to Tecumseh. I was proud of my small town roots.

Since my return, I have noticed several appalling facts about this town. Students still in high school, middle school and even elementary school have no clue about our beautiful national flag! They can’t even tell me who wrote the Star Spangled Banner! Or, when I ask several of them, I receive such uneducated answers as “Cheech and Chong,” and apparently Betty White made the American flag. These are students currently enrolled in Tecumseh Schools that I have approached and questioned.

Adults and children alike do not show the proper respect to the flag I fought for. I spent 20 years of my life fighting for this country, this state, and this town’s freedom. I risked my life daily. I am still proud of my service! But my feeling is that this city, as great as it once was, is failing our veterans.

How is it I can receive letters from Congressmen, senators, the President of the United States, and several highly ranked military officials, yet, no letter from the mayor of my hometown?

On behalf of my fellow Veterans, myself included, we feel disrespected by the city of Tecumseh. Our schools are apparently not even teaching proper flag etiquette.

How can so many Veterans march in Tecumseh’s Memorial Day parade where the majority of parade-observing citizens do not stand for our Color Guard? Yet disabled Veterans still rise to the occasion to show their undying love to our own brothers and sisters in arms their respect. Hats and other head gear not being removed, hands not placed over their hearts during our National Anthem at Tecumseh High School sporting events. My wish is to see the majority of our citizens showing proper respect.

Prove to me that my 20 years of service, my wounds, and risking my life actually means something to the people of this city. Otherwise I will lose all faith in this town.

Brian Smith MN1 (RET)
Tecumseh




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