Archive for April, 2013

My opinion on flying US flags at half staff

April 19th, 2013 No comments

Personally I disagree with the President making a proclamation to fly US flags at half-staff for the Boston tragedy OR the Waco tragedy. Yes they were tragedies but they do not fit the standards set forth for that action. The same goes for Governor Christie similarly signing a proclamation to fly the US flags for the death of Whitney Houston. It doesn’t fit. If we’re going to perform this act of respect it needs to be as it is outlined.

The President should follow the same restrictions as set forth for Governors of the U.S. states or territories. They are authorized by federal law to order all U.S. and state flags in their jurisdiction flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for a former or current state official who has died, or for a member of the armed forces who has died in active duty. The governor’s authority to issue the order is more restricted than the president’s and does not include the discretion to issue the order for state residents who do not meet the criteria.

1. After the death of a current or former president or president-elect.
2. After the death of a current vice president, current or retired chief justice, or current speaker of the House of Representatives.
3. From the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a secretary of an executive or military department, a former vice president, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, or the governor of a state, territory, or possession.
4. On the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress on Memorial Day until noon.
5. Upon presidential proclamation.
6. To honor a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who died on active duty.

My opinion on the following;
The remembrance of the 9/11 attacks, yes because President George W. Bush approved legislation requiring the United States flag to be lowered to half-staff on all Federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters. The death of Pope John Paul II, I don’t see the one Pope being that significant to the U.S. The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, yes. The victims of Hurricane Katrina, no. The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, The deaths of Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks, most definitely. The Virginia Tech shooting, no. The Fort Hood shooting, yes. The funeral of Neil Armstrong, yes. The death of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stephens, yes. The 2012 shooting in Aurora Colorado, no. The 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, no. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, no.

There are so many tragedies that we did not fly flags at half-staff because they did not fit. Examples are the Calif. teen who died after being struck by softball or the Canadian teen who hung herself after being raped. The President should follow Title 4 of the United States Code each and every time.

Just my $.02.

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April 4th, 2013 No comments

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the short time I spent in the USAF. I recently submitted a request for my USAF discharge papers DD Form 214. I have been unable to find my military briefcase which I believe is where my original copy is located. This form is the only documentation a veteran has to indicate their time of service when discharged. Last month I received two notarized copies of my DD 214. In addition to that they also included my awards and decorations listing which of course in the short time I was enlisted there wasn’t many of either. I did attain every ribbon that most everyone enlisted in the USAF attains.

The Air Force training ribbon and the Air Force Good Conduct Medal. I also received the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon. Now this one ribbon though not the Distinguished Service Medal or the Air Force Cross, is my favorite because of how much fun it was to get it. We shot modified M-16s using .22 ammunition. The cost of .22 ammunition made it the best choice for training 35,000 recruits each year. I shot a perfect score the day we went through training and for those in our flight that received a perfect score our instructors seem to have a whole new level of respect for us. It was cool for the that day and I will never forget it.

Yesterday I received a small package from Randolph AFB TX where the Air Force Personnel Center is located. I opened it and found all three ribbons had been sent to me. I only asked for the listing of what I had attained. It is really cool to have these again.

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