All eyes have been on NFL players after many of them protested injustices throughout the country by kneeling during the national anthem. This was all started by 49’ers quarterback Collin Kaepernick a few weeks ago.
The decision to protest the anthem is not sitting well with some local veterans. They say in war, the American flag is a daily reminder to keep fighting for our country.
Jeremy Harrison, co-founder of the Veteran Support group Helping Heroes, and Iraq War veteran said he’s proud to live in a free country.
“We had a lot of soldiers who have died over the last few centuries to give us the rights that we have,” said Harrison.
What Harrison said he’s not proud of is watching football players take a knee during the national anthem.
“The football players, they have the right to kneel during the national anthem, but for me as a veteran, I think it’s disrespectful and I am offended by it,” said Harrison.
Harrison added that he realizes the message is not only targeted at the military or first responders, but he said choosing to take a knee is one of the worst protest moves they can make.
“It doesn’t just represent the patriotism of certain people, but it’s really offensive to those that have put their life on the line and care about this country and care about its people,” said Harrison.
Harrison has chosen to take action in his own way.
He’s educated students at Wheeling Park High School about being a veteran and worked with them to complete 22 push-ups a day. A social media challenge used to remember the statistic that 22 veterans commit suicide a day.
“I have been in discussion on this subject with a lot of people in recent days, people on both sides of the fence, but the great thing about it is that, we do know, that we recognize that the fact that they are able to protest in any way they want to, that’s what we fought for, but it’s also important to respect the fact that people like me, a veteran, and other veterans, we also have the right to be offended by it,” said Harrison.