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By
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
Gny Sgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437-PISC)--1972

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On Saluting and Veterans, Military Retirees, etc.

March 25 2006 at 12:08 PM
Score 5.0 (1 person)

GyG  (Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
from IP address 67.76.6.143

 
The following is from a widely circulated e-mail regarding a suggestion by MajGen Vern Lewis, USA (Ret.) and his suggestion on saluting vice hand over heart....
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I gathered some 16 of my old military friends who agreed to sponsor
a movement for Veterans to salute rather than place their hands over
their heart when honoring the flag, fallen comrades, and/or the
country. I have some from each of the four principal services. Three
of them were former Vice Chiefs or Assistant Commandants of their
services, and several were former CINC's.

We refer to saluting when we do the pledge to the flag, when the
National Colors pass or are presented, when the National Anthem or
honors are played, or when taps are played and firing squads or guns
render honors. We got MOAA magazine to ask veterans what they
preferred, hand over the heart or saluting. When last I looked, some
583 veteran respondents had voted 81% in favor of the salute. In
addition, my email address was in the questionnaire and I've had
about 150 responses, with all but a dozen or so in favor of the
salute. Obviously an overwhelming majority of the veterans want to
salute.

There are no regulations telling us veterans what we can and can't
do in this matter. If we decide we want to salute, who will dare to
tell us "no"?

It is a matter of personal choice. We've earned the right to render
a salute. Now the challenge is to get the word out. I believe the
unit and branch associations are the best way. The commanders of the
American Legion and VFW never answered my emails, presuming they
even got them. If we can get this started it will take on a life of
its own. Those who object can continue the hand over the heart
thing. Gradually the custom will change, as well it should.

Just imagine thousands of fans saluting at NFL, MBA, and Major
League Baseball games when the National Anthem is played. It will
telegraph a message to all others of how many have served this
country in the Armed Forces---it will be a positive and patriotic
message.

You can help by putting the word out in your organizations, which
are made up of patriots like you and me. Thanks, my friend.

Vernon B.
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GyG Response:

I, personally, think this suggestion by MajGen Vern Lewis, USA (Ret.) is a good one. As he points out, there are no regulations regarding veterans and military retirees on this specific issue. It is a matter, therefore, of personal choice, and those still preferring the hand over the heart are not affected.
Those who bring up such things as various forms of civilain attire, naval personnel not saluting indoors/outdoors, covered/uncovered, etc. are confusing the issue that is very simple to begin with. Whether or not a salute would be appropriate in certain/all situations would obviously be within the judgment of the individual.

Again, General Lewis states, in part....
"There are no regulations telling us veterans what we can and can't do in this matter. If we decide we want to salute, who will dare to tell us "no"? It is a matter of personal choice. We've earned the right to render a salute. Now the challenge is to get the word out. I believe the unit and branch associations are the best way. The commanders of the American Legion and VFW never answered my emails, presuming they even got them. If we can get this started it will take on a life of its own. Those who object can continue the hand over the heart thing. Gradually the custom will change, as well it should."

I recall that in boot camp in 1952, we were instructed by one of our DIs, a corporal, on saluting. Among many other things, he pointed out that a salute was basically a form of military greeting, and that it was not uncommon for enlisted Marines to salute other Marines both well beyond the prescribed saluting distance, and in civilian clothes. I have since done so myself on many occasions.
-RWG



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R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GnySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952 (Plt #437)--'72

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Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
Response TitleAuthorDate
 Responses.............GyGMar 25, 2006, 12:16 PM
 No Requirement.....GyGMar 25, 2006, 1:53 PM
 No Organized Effort....GyGMar 26, 2006, 10:39 AM
 GyG Updated Response - On Saluting and Veterans, Retired Military....GyGMar 26, 2006, 1:50 PM
 I agreeFrankMar 26, 2006, 6:02 PM
  Welcome aboard, Frank....GyGMar 26, 2006, 7:21 PM
 Reponses.....................GyGMar 27, 2006, 8:35 AM
 Responses...............................................GyGMar 28, 2006, 8:36 AM
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