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YOUR TURN: Honor and salute this flag still standing

In World
May 26, 2024

Have you ever been flat on your stomach as thirty caliber machine gun rounds screamed and popped near your head? We have.

Have you ever heard the ragged cry, “medic!” and known a fellow soldier was seriously wounded? We have.

Have you ever knelt beside the broken body of a fallen hero, your heart shredded so thoroughly you were fighting for every breath? We have.

Have you ever tied dog tags into the boot laces of a friend knowing his spouse and young children would never fully recover from the profound loss that would change everything in their lives? We have.

We have stood side-by-side in front of family and friends and a nation and pledged allegiance to our flag and to our country. We have gutted our way through intense training because we refused to disappoint our nation or ourselves. We have committed ourselves to serve with honor and courage and dignity. We have thrust our bodies from the open doors of powerful airplanes; scrambled from landing helicopters; and forced our way out of armored vehicles to engage and destroy the enemy.

We are the infantry; the front line; the defenders of democracy; the very few men and women who have kept America safe and paid the highest price. We have been the impenetrable barrier that has preserved these truths, that all people are created equal and endowed with the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are here, in this place and everywhere our nation sends us. We are the infantry: proud, capable, determined.

Honor and salute this flag still standing. Pledge to support the free nation for which it stands, even if it means giving the last full measure. Stand strong for America. We have.

Michael K. McMahan served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1972. A field artillery officer, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry on Nov. 6, 1968, in Vietnam while assigned to an infantry company. He is a member of the OCS Field Artillery Hall of Fame at Fort Sill Oklahoma..

This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: YOUR TURN: Honor and salute this flag still standing

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