No, this doesn’t have much to do with writing, but several military-related items have come to my attention over the last couple of days.
First, you may have heard about the latest rules infraction in the NFL. Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker hauled in a TD pass from incredibly prolific pass-throwing quarterback Tim Tebow (who threw 2 exhausting passes Sunday), and then dropped to a knee and offered a “salute to the troops” on Veterans Day weekend. Of course, he was promptly fined for “excessive celebration.” Why? Well, they don’t call it the No Fun League for nothing. Seems that Decker would have been fine had he remained standing. However, he dropped to a knee, which for reasons known but to God (and maybe Al Davis) is strictly illegal. It’s the gateway move to more serious gestures apparently.
But here’s my problem with Decker’s move. Look at the photo. No, it’s not reversed. Yes, he’s saluting with his left hand. He gets credit for the effort of respecting the troops, but could he have at least bothered to salute with the correct hand?
I almost posted this to Facebook in response to a cascade to hateful posts I saw over the weekend — and I do mean hateful in the context of vile — regarding a couple of shots of President and Mrs. Obama at several events in which the national anthem was (presumably) being played and the Obamas were “disrespecting” the flag and our nation, and our brave men and women and the Real Patriots and Jesus and Real Muricans and blah blah blah kiss my ass. Oddly, none of those people posted this photo and launched an all-out hell assault on him. I wonder why …
Second, I ran across this photo today and did a double-take. At first I thought the soldiers in the picture were from another country, like Slovakia or Bulgaria, because of their uniforms. But, nope, these guys are from the Rhode Island National Guard. First time I’ve seen that camouflage pattern (I won’t even comment on the ever-shrinking helmet that now resembles a Kevlar beanie — I mean, what’s it supposed be protecting, a combover?). And it’s a funky pattern. Apparently, the military’s camouflage fetish has gone unchecked even after 1o years of war. This is the fifth or sixth version of camouflage I’ve seen in the last 10 years or so. I mean, come on, guys, decide will you? I wrote about this a few years ago when I was at Marine Corps Times (reproduced here on the Leatherneck website). Some things never change.
Finally, Justin Timberlake. Love him or hate him, he kept his word. Back in July, when Marine Cpl. Kelsey De Santis asked him to the Birthday Ball, he accepted her invitation. And then he showed up. Full story here.