The lines in the sand are clearly being drawn in our country. You’re either on the side of these anti-American players who disrespect our country and our Soldiers every time they take a knee and protest, or you’re on Team America. As a combat veteran who served 8 years in the Army to defend the Constitution as well as the First Amendment rights of these so-called protesters, I have little something to say about these ungrateful idiots who keep disrespecting my country and destroying the NFL games that I used to enjoy.
I, like many veterans, feel insulted when we see these players taking a knee. Veterans like myself understand the personal sacrifices it takes to preserve the freedoms we enjoy here in America, and many of us can intimately relate with the fallen Soldiers who have fought, bled, and died to preserve the country and the flag these millionaire athletes so vehemently despise. It’s rather easy to take these freedoms for granted until you’ve looked death straight in the eye, as many of our brave Soldiers have done for countless generations.
After weeks of being bombarded with the disgusting sentiments of these spoiled NFL players who have no concept of the cost of the freedoms they enjoy to run off at the mouth, I had sworn off watching another NFL game forever until witnessing what took place at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ game over the weekend.
I’m sure you all are familiar with the story by now. Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin made the decision before the game that all of his athletes would remain in the locker room while the National Anthem was played. But then, former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva decided to take a stand for our country, defiantly going against his coach’s wishes to stay in the locker room and protest. Villanueva stood alone with his hand over his heart while our country’s colors were raised; a silent head nod to every single American Soldier who had lost their lives to preserve our country’s freedoms. OR SO THE STORY WENT…
Now I don’t get too emotional, but the sight of Villanueva standing all alone evoked personal memories for me as a Soldier. We are taught as warriors never to give up…never give in…never quit…and to keep on going no matter how tough or dire the situation might be. Upholding your oath to “support and defend” the Constitution is a vow that many veterans like myself continue to practice, long after we’ve hung up the uniform and left the military.
Villanueva truly seemed to be embody that sworn oath he took, as he stood there appearing to be the “lone survivor” on the football field. As an Army Ranger and part of one of America’s premiere fighting forces, it appeared as though Villanueva was living up to the oath he took as a Ranger, where the Ranger Creed states that Soldiers within their forces will do everything in their power to live up to America’s expectation of them to “move further, faster and fight harder than any other Soldier.” The Ranger Creed which Villanueva swore to abide by also states: “I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.”
Villanueva instantly became a hero in my mind, as I triumphantly celebrated that we FINALLY had a person in the NFL that was taking a defiant stand against these ugly protests, and standing up for every single American Soldier who has fought, bled, and given their life to preserve our nation’s freedoms.
But my celebration of my new found hero would be ripped to shreds however, as the morning after the game, I read the unbelievable headline that America’s newest hero had just issued a PUBLIC APOLOGY for standing for the National Anthem.
Villenueva admitted to the Daily Wire that he hadn’t planned at all to stand for the National Anthem, but had looked back in the tunnel to see where his team mates were, and suddenly realized he was all alone. At that point it was too late to turn back, and he was forced to put his hand over his heart, leading Americans like myself to believe that he had done it as a defiant stand for our country and for our nation’s Soldiers.
“I made coach Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault…only,” he said.
But the next words out of Villenueva’s mouth made me completely lose all my composure and nearly break down into tears of rage. The pedestal that I placed Villenueva on as being a valiant hero for our Soldiers and Veterans suddenly came crashing down, as the former Army Ranger uttered the words that should NEVER come out of a military veteran’s mouth, much less from someone who was once an elite Army Ranger.
“Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself, I feel embarrassed,” Villenueva said about saluting our nation’s flag.
I can’t even comprehend how a former Army Ranger could in any way feel embarrassed to honor our country and stand with his hand over his heart while our National Anthem is played. Obviously everything that had been drilled into Villenueva’s head as an Army Ranger and the blood-soaked uniform he wore while helping evacuate three soldiers in his unit who were ambushed by the Taliban has now been completely forgotten, as it appears that Villenueva’s priorities aren’t to uphold any sort of Army Values, but to keep the anti-American organization of the NFL, that’s now his employer, happy.
The heart and soul for America is currently being ripped away by these vile leftists who continue to disgrace our country with their disrespectful protests. Americans are desperate for a hero, and for someone to finally take a stand for our country and for our fallen Soldiers who continue to be insulted every time one of these ungrateful athletes take a knee.
Villenueva had the perfect opportunity to be America’s hero on the football field Sunday night. But unfortunately for the entire veteran community, our fallen Soldiers, and our warriors who are still fighting and losing their lives and limbs on the battlefield, it appears as though our hero is yet to come.