Category Archives: troops

Veterans conquer flag restriction

Veterans conquer flag restriction

Veterans don’t give up without a fight. Not when it comes to the flag. On Wednesday, they secured a victory for patriotism with Marietta (Georgia) officials. “I’m ready to fight any of ’em over the flag,” said James Ellis, past post commander of VFW Post 2681 and veteran of World War II and the Korean War.  
Marietta revises safety rule on distribution during parade after public outcry. 

(origianlly posted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution)
 YOLANDA RODRIGUEZ; Staff

Veterans don’t give up without a fight. Not when it comes to the flag. On Wednesday, they secured a victory for patriotism with Marietta (Georgia) officials. “I’m ready to fight any of ’em over the flag,” said James Ellis, past post commander of VFW Post 2681 and veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

The skirmish started when city officials told the vets that they couldn’t hand out miniature U.S. flags as they walked alongside their float during the annual Fourth of July parade. Citing safety concerns, the city said the veterans could only give the flags away before the parade starts. But after the story hit ajc.com — and after the city received several e-mails about the squabble — Marietta put out a news release that said the flags could be distributed during the parade. The one hitch: The veterans will have to do it from the sidewalks — among the crowds — and not from the parade route along Roswell Street as they walk next to their “Let Freedom Ring” float. “They will be where the people are,” Marietta city spokesman Matthew Daily said. “They will be on the sidewalk. They will not be able to do it on the street.”

But the veterans are not sure how that’s going to work. Last year’s parade attracted 35,000 spectators.  “It’s going to be hard to do it from the sidewalk because there are going to be a lot of people,” said Leon Dean, the post commander and a veteran of the Korean War. The city cited safety concerns — that someone might run out to grab a flag and get hurt — for its policy.

“It’s not just these guys. No one can pass anything out while the parade is going on,” Maggi Moss, the special events coordinator for Marietta’s parks and recreation department, said early Wednesday. Moss said the policy has been in place for years and that officials were not aware that the veterans were handing out the 3-by-5-inch flags. “Obviously, they have been handing them out very secretively,” she said. No one has ever been hurt during the parade, Moss said. Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn and Officer Mark Bishop will meet with the veterans this morning.  “We are as patriotic, if not more, than most from around here,” said Bishop, who recently returned from an 11-month tour of duty in Iraq with the Navy Reserve. “The bottom line is we want everyone to be safe.”

The parade —the theme this year is One Nation-United — kicks off Wednesday at 10 a.m. from Roswell Street Baptist Church and heads toward Marietta Square.

Update: VFW, Marietta

reach flag detente

By Yolanda Rodriguez
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 06/29/07

Marietta police Chief Dan Flynn and Marietta’s veterans worked out a compromise on Thursday so they can hand out Old Glory at next week’s parade.The pact: Some members of VFW Post 2681 will walk with other volunteers along Roswell Road handing out the flags before the parade starts.”I understand we put him [Flynn] on the spot too,” said Leon Dean, commander of the post on Thursday.

But some members say they plan to keep on doing what they have done for years.

“I’m walking, baby, and handing flags,” said Rose McDaniel, a member of the post’s Ladies Auxiliary and the incoming chairwoman of its Americanism committee. McDaniel was in the Navy from 1953 to 1957 and her husband, Bill McDaniel, was in the Navy for 22 years.

Citing safety concerns, the city has forbidden the veterans and any other parade participants from handing out anything while they walk in the parade alongside their floats during the Fourth of July parade.

City officials said the VFW members are welcome to hand out Old Glory from the sidewalks among parade viewers. But the veterans say that idea is not practical. Last year’s parade attracted more than 35,000 spectators along a route that is about 1 1/2 miles long.

The veterans maintain that they always have handed out the flags along the parade route without any problems. City officials say the rule has been in place to years and they never knew the veterans were handing out the flags.

Officer Mark Bishop, a police spokesman, said safety is the department’s main concern. “If the issue comes up, then we will address it,” he said.

Respect our flag,
Honor our Troops,
Honor our Veterans

Oldtimer’s Note:  Marietta, Ga. is where I live.  This is my town.  We should be ashamed for ever restricting our flag or prohibiting its distribution.

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Driver Prevented From Wearing Hat Honoring Veterans

Bus Driver Prevented From Wearing Hat

Honering Veterans

Reported By: Valerie Hoff   (link also has video of this story)
Web Editor: Michael King
Last Modified: 5/25/2007 
Veteran, hat in disputeA Gwinnett County bus driver wanted to show support for veterans who lost their lives fighting for our country. So today, the last day before Memorial Day, he wore a patriotic hat. 

Gary Rolley, who’s a vet himself, said he was ordered to take the hat off. A supervisor told him it wasn’t part of his uniform.  Rolley is proud of the four years he served in the Navy. He is proud to be an American.   “I love my country,” he said.

Rolley said he is paying tribute to all veterans by wearing his American Legion hat, but the he said that didn’t’ go over well with his bosses at the Gwinnett County Transit Authority.  “The supervisor said, ‘You are you have uniform; you have to take that hat off.’ I explained this was a hat I wear for the holiday.”

Rolley said he continued to wear the hat on his bus route.  “As we were going down the road, a second supervisor radioed me. He said, ‘What do you have on your head?’ I said, “Why are you asking me that?” And he said ‘Take that hat off now,'” Rolley explained.

Rolley said he turned the bus around and went back to headquarters.  “I said ‘I’m sorry, I got sick over this. I’m sick to my stomach, and I’m going home sick’,” Rolley said. “I turned around and I left.”  Rolley said patriotic hats have been allowed in the past, and Santa hats are allowed at Christmastime, so he doesn’t understand why the rules have changed.

“It’s just to me a slap in the face to our veterans,” Rolley said.  He said he wore the hat on Friday because he has the day off on Monday — Memorial Day. He said he plans to spend Monday honoring American veterans.  The general manager of the Gwinnett County Transit Authority said that Rolley was asked nicely to wear the proper uniform, and he opted to go home. John Autry said there is a standard issue hat that all bus drivers are required to wear.

Way to go Rolley.   I support you – America supports you.   We need to honor our fallen and all our Heroes in uniform or who have worn it in the past .

Oldtimer 

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