Letter: Why we stand

As I read the (Oct. 23) edition of the Daily Miner covering the 8th grader that refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, I began to ask myself, “What does this young girl know about the privilege to live in the United States of America?”

What does she know about the men who stood against the British in 1776 to give us our Constitution? How about the men who stood against the British again in 1812? The men who stood again in 1861-1865 to keep America whole? What about the men who stood together on the front lines in France in 1918? Then they had to stand together again in 1941? In Korea, in 1950? Viet Nam in 1965? In 1991, to assist the Kuwaitis against Iraq? Do you remember September 11, 2001?

I know these men. My family members fought in 1776, 1861, my grandfather in 1918, my father in 1941, my uncles in 1950, cousins in 1965 and then myself at the end. I served in 1991 (Kuwait) and 2003 (Iraq). My only son for 20 years, in the Air Force as a pararescueman, with 10 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan and two major surgeries for injuries sustained.

Nephews and good friends who served in combat operations. I served in the U.S. military for 33 in the regular Army and Reserve. I retired as a sergeant major and I now receive benefits from the Veterans Administration for combat-related injuries.

You watched some football player who took a knee because he feels bad for some other Americans. And now you want to be like him.

What do you know about the Irish, Italians and the Chinese that were treated as badly as any slave ever was? What do you know about their plight in America? Before you place hero status on a person who is paid millions a year to play a sport, think about the real hero who is paid less than Arizona minimum wage to serve in the military of this great nation.

You can sit in your seat as the ACLU tells you it’s your right to.

The Constitution and the millions of service people who have fought and died for that piece of paper gives you that right.

But you, young lady, as you sit on your backside in your chair in the classroom, who has done nothing to earn that right except to be born in America, think of the people around the world who would take your place in a heartbeat and they would stand at attention to have that right to take the pledge you refuse to.

God bless the United States of America.

Wesley Maroney

Sergeant Major,

U.S. Army, Ret.

Kingman