Veterans Day

Van Hipp: On Veterans Day, an open letter to my children on appreciating American patriots

To mark Veterans Day and salute the brave Americans who have defended our freedom, I’ve written this open letter to my children. It’s a message worth sharing. Dear Trey, Sarah Camille, and Jackson, It is important for you to understand what Veterans Day means and the role our military veterans have played to give us this land we call America. Veterans Day is a day for all of us as Americans to honor our men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. While Memorial Day honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country when in uniform, Veterans Day is different. It celebrates the service of all of America’s military veterans. Those who have served in our military since our nation’s founding have been on the front lines to keep America safe and secure so that we can be free. Actually, a number of your ancestors were some of America’s first veterans and wore the uniform during the American Revolutionary War to give us our independence. In fact, several were among the Scots-Irish and French Huguenots of the backwoods of South Carolina who came together at the Battle of Cowpens to turn the tide in America’s favor. This Veterans Day, it’s important to understand that the reason we even have a federal government and the reason the states came together in the first place was to “provide for the common defense” of the American people. Always remember that is the primary purpose of our government. And it is American men and women who have worn the uniform – our veterans – who have kept us safe and provided for that common defense. When John F. Kennedy was president, some 52 percent of all federal spending was for national security. Today it is only about 16 percent. So when you hear so-called “experts” say we spend too much on defense and taking care of our veterans, they really don’t know what they’re talking about. Many of our veterans have health and medical problems because of their selfless service to our country. Whether it’s a vet who is an amputee, or one who is suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s important that we help them and never forget what they have done for our country. In addition to the role our government plays, it’s great to see private citizens – who exemplify the American volunteer spirit – get involved to help our veterans. Look at Ben Patton, Army Gen. George S. Patton’s grandson. His Patton Veterans Project has helped many of our vets dealing with PTSD. Then there’s Michael Reagan, President Reagan’s son, with the Reagan Legacy Foundation. The foundation has done a great job to honor our WWII veterans and provide scholarships for the crew and families of those deployed on the USS Ronald Reagan. I am concerned that many of your generation don’t understand what it really means to be an American and don’t have an appreciation of what our veterans have done over the years for our country. Unfortunately, we don’t emphasize American history and civics in our schools like we used to. A recent study found that 22 percent of millennials weren’t sure if they knew what the Holocaust was. And 67 percent had not heard of Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp where more than 1 million Jews and others were murdered. Education is a national security issue and right now we’ve got a real problem. President Reagan reminded us that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” He went on to say: “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” God has blessed America over the years by giving us men and women who put America above self, put on the uniform, and are willing to give their lives for their country. Today we live in a free country and are safe because of our veterans. This Veterans Day, honor our veterans, go to a Veterans Day parade and bring your friends. And tell them what it means to be an American and what our veterans have done for them. Most importantly, thank God for giving us men and women such as these. This is the way to honor our veterans on Veterans Day.

As a veteran, myself, thanks Van.  Van D. Hipp, Jr. is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc.  He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army and author of “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It.”  He is the 2018 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden Leadership Award for National Security. Follow him on  Twitter @VanHipp.     🙂

Veterans, not NFL, to be focus for many fans this Sunday

Veterans Day weekend seems to have inspired a new round of fan activism against the National Football League in response to player protests during the national anthem. A Facebook page called “Boycott the NFL,” boasting more than 227,000 followers, is asking football fans to skip watching Sunday’s games “in solidarity with veterans around the country,” the Washington Times reported. In New Jersey, a bar in Farmingdale called Woody’s Roadside Tavern plans to hold a fundraiser for veterans and their families, instead of showing NFL games on the bar’s 20 television screens, NJ.com reported. In Colorado, a decorated local veteran recently turned down an invitation from the Denver Broncos to be honored during Sunday night’s game against the New England Patriots, Fox 31 reported. And a conservative watchdog group called 2ndVote is asking fans to “stiff-arm the NFL,” according to the Washington Times. “We’re sending the National Football League, its corporate sponsors, and the television networks a message this Veterans Day weekend!” 2ndVote told the newspaper. “Americans are sick of the disrespectful National Anthem protests that the NFL has not only allowed to continue, but has institutionalized in pregame ceremonies.” The league and its players union announced Saturday there would be “no change” in league policy regarding the on-field protests, which began last season with a one-man effort by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said he wanted to draw attention to police mistreatment of African-Americans across the U.S. The protests broadened across the league in September, after President Donald Trump told an Alabama crowd that any player protesting during the anthem should be removed from the field. The president and other critics argued that the playing of the national anthem was the wrong time for protests, regardless of the reason, because the song represents U.S. national unity and respect for those who serve in the military. Rob Johnson, a co-owner of the New Jersey bar, told NJ.com that their anti-NFL event was inspired by a regular customer who served in Vietnam and felt disrespected by NFL players taking a knee during the anthem. “While it’ll probably cost us some money, we thought it was more important to stand with our veterans,” Johnson told NJ.com. About 22,000 people have pledged on Facebook that they plan to turn off the television during Sunday’s games, the Washington Times reported.

We, of course, will not be watching any NFL games this weekend, and encourage those who are as equally disgusted with Roger Goodell, and the rest of the NFL leadership to boycott the NFL til it pulls its collective head out of its ass.

‘Slap in the face!’: Seattle Pacific University drops pledge, flag from Veteran’s Day service

Patriotic students are infuriated after the Pledge of Allegiance and the Presentation of Colors were removed from Seattle Pacific University’s Veteran’s Day chapel over fears they might offend people. The university’s Military and Veteran Support Club was outraged by the chaplain’s decision. They called it a “slap in the face” of every soldier who fought, sacrificed and died for our freedoms. SPU is a Christian university of the Free Methodist tradition – but the student population includes a diverse group of denominations – including some that ascribe to pacifism. “The organizers decided not to include the pledge of allegiance and the presentation of colors during the November 10th chapel, given that there are diversity of views on campus whether such elements should be part of a Christian worship service,” read a statement from the university to Q13 Fox. University Chaplain Bo Lim had originally included both the pledge and the presentation of colors – but reversed his decision over concerns from a handful of students and faculty. “If the purpose of the service was in part, an opportunity for the entire SPU community to grow in solidarity and support for our military community, I believe including the pledge and flag would work counter to that,” he wrote in an email obtained by Fox News and first reported by The College Fix. Chaplain Lim pointed out that a large number of the faculty are from Anabaptist traditions. “This Christian tradition is pacifist, and would object to Christians serving in the military, holding military Christian services, and having military or political symbols in church sanctuaries,” he wrote. He went on to write in a lengthy letter than he would rather have people focused on supporting the veterans rather than whether or not there was a flag present in the chapel. “Perhaps some of you have come from communities where there wasn’t a diversity of views on Christians serving in the military, the flag or the pledge,” he wrote. “But such is not SPU.” Tell that to the Military and Veteran Support Club. “As several veterans have already noted, their friends did not die for our country so that Americans could be ashamed of or made uncomfortable by their own flag,” they wrote in a Facebook message. Sarah Martin, 21, founded the group when she was a freshman. She was also on the original planning committee for the Veteran’s Day Chapel. “The pledge and the presentation of colors were in our original plans and then they took them out,” she told me. Miss Martin wrote a powerful message urging the chaplain to reconsider his decision. “By removing the presentation of the flag and the pledge of allegiance, SPU would not only disrespect students from the military and intelligence community on campus, but also eliminate any reference to the values and freedoms that make it possible for University Ministries to assemble at a chapel in the first place,” she wrote. “Furthermore, you are stripping the chapel of a deeper meaning that glorifies God.” She went on to lecture the university’s chaplain that pledging and presenting does not mean they are worshipping the flag. “I believe that eliminating the pledge will rob Christians of the opportunity to give God the glory for the blessings of our freedoms, which were preserved by our veterans and are symbolized by our flag,” she added. Miss Martin told me in a telephone interview that she’s perplexed over their reasoning to remove the flag and pledge. “It’s called the Veteran’s Day Chapel,” she said. “No one is forced to participate. No one is forcing them to stand and place their hand over their heart and recite the pledge.” She said her phone lines have been flooded with students who took offense about the accusations they were not being sensitive to diversity. “We want them to bring back the flag as they originally planned to do,” she said. “It’s a Veteran’s Day Chapel and if someone is uncomfortable with the flag, it is unlikely they would go to the chapel in the first place.” Amen, Miss Martin. Preach!

Thanks Todd (Starnes)!  As an Army vet myself, I can tell you that my uniforms have the American flag right on them.  IF you’re honoring vets, then the American flag is an integral part of that.  And, if that offends a few anti-military, anti-American flag, liberal, college kids, then oh well.  They can either get over it, or not attend.  Nobody is forcing anyone to attend this event.  BUT, if you’re actually have a Veteran’s Day ceremony of sorts, then yeah..  Old Glory needs to be present.  How is that even remotely hard to understand?

Veteran’s Day food freebies and deals

Businesses and restaurants are honoring veterans on Tuesday, Nov. 11 with specials and freebies for active duty and retired military personnel.

Here are a few of the many freebies out there tomorrow for vets.  As a vet myself, I always look forward to taking advantage of some of these fun deals.  In addition, I usually take advantage of getting my Mustang washed for free.  But, seeing as its snowing and 14 degrees outside, I’ll probably have to skip that this year.  Oh well..  To all you fellow vets out there, a very Happy Veteran’s Day!  Hope you find some of these deals beneficial!   🙂