Posted on Mar 24, 2016
SPC Aviation Operations Specialist
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I recently visited the Fallen Warriors Memorial on Cutten Road in Spring, TX. While I was there, I noticed a Veteran wearing a Vietnam hat and although I wanted to walk over to him and shake his hand, I decided to back off as he was paying his respects; however, prior to him leaving he stood in front of the memorial, came to attention and held a salute for a few seconds before bringing it down. So my question is actually coming from me as I've felt compelled to salute as well, but have refrained as I'm not sure what is correct.
Edited 8 y ago
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SSgt Investigative Analyst
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Hi, PFC Pereira.

A provision of the 2009 Defense Authorization Act changes federal law to allow U.S. veterans and military personnel not in uniform to render the military hand salute when the national anthem is played. The new law took effect on October 14.

This change adds to a provision which was passed in the 2008 Defense Bill, which authorized veterans and military personnel in civilian clothes to render the military salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag.

For the vet saluting a Fallen Warrior Memorial. That gesture honors a code among our brothers and sisters that transcends any rule or regulation, in my opinion. Any officer or enlisted personnel I know would get it, and likely do the same. I wouldn't care if it's dead on accurate or ridiculously against the rules. He is honoring his fallen brethren. With respect, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.
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SFC Retired
SFC (Join to see)
5 mo
Love that they changed the regulation to do something I would do regardless
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Brad Miller
Brad Miller
1 mo
For many years I knew a retired gunny (Gunnery Sergeant Vincent H. Streeter -- Fox 2/5 and 1 MAW in Korea, 1/27 and other units in Vietnam). He always saluted the flag.
I, as a civilian, came to attention and put my hand over my heart. I was rejected for service (P-3 in 1981), so I hadn't *earned* the right to salute.
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PO1 Don Rowan
PO1 Don Rowan
24 d
Simple answer is yes.
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SGT James Hunsinger
SGT James Hunsinger
21 d
I was going to comment but I think you basically covered it all SSgt Lamb. I couldn't have said it better.
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SGM Mikel Dawson
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Just try and stop me!
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MSgt Harry Campbell
MSgt Harry Campbell
5 mo
CPT Ian Stewart -
I am not being disrespectful but I am glad that you did what you did. Protocol never supersedes Brothers and Sisters in Arms...In my opinion, even Congress would agree
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CPT Ian Stewart
CPT Ian Stewart
5 mo
MSgt Harry Campbell - From one Scot to another - Tango Yankee
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Maj William Mitchell
Maj William Mitchell
24 d
Amen!
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SGM Chief Executive Officer (Ceo)
SGM (Join to see)
22 d
PO2 Jimmie Shelnutt - Not sure how you could have offended anyone by showing a genuine sign of respect!
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LTC Paul Labrador
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Like anyone is going to stop you.....?
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Sgt Ed Allen
Sgt Ed Allen
12 mo
For me it is simple.
When honoring the flag
In civilian attire wearing a hat - I remove the hat and hold it over my heart while standing at attention
In civilian attire without a hat - Hand over my heart while standing at attention.
In ANY uniform with head gear - Salute
In any uniform with no head gear - Salute

If honoring a fellow service member, active, inactive. If I'm wearing a hat I'll salute. If no hat than I'll shake their hand. Then offer to buy them a drink.
If deceased. I'll salute if I have head gear on. I'll hold my heart over my hand while taps is played. Regardless, I'll show them respect.
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PV2 Tommy Smith
PV2 Tommy Smith
11 mo
"You might, since you think you still have authority once you're out."
It is truly sad that this new generation of Vet's were not taught what we were in the 60's and 70's about what we earned for our service to the country.
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Brad Miller
Brad Miller
6 mo
As Mr. Kipling said: there is no god but the Colonel and the Sergeant Major is his prophet.
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Brad Miller
Brad Miller
1 mo
Sadly, I have seen people who actually approached the vet, and began to berate them. A few (a VERY few) were even in uniform.
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