The football game environment last Saturday night was electric, with a full house cheering on the ultimately victorious Boilers, and I was glad to have traveled to Purdue University to participate. However, as the father of an Army officer, I was saddened and angered to hear jeers during the enlistment ceremony that took place on the field at halftime.
This display was obviously directed at the President of the United States, and I suspect in reference to the recent Afghanistan departure. Long-term policy and evacuation troubles aside, and with deepest respect and condolences for all those lost in the twenty-plus years of that conflict, there is no cause for jeering and booing during the enlistment ceremony of young men and women who have made a choice to serve their country and potentially give their life doing so.
I can only ask those who felt the need to exercise their First Amendment rights if they agree with quietly kneeling during the national anthem and, if this country needed them, would they put on a uniform? Sadly, I suspect the answers are no and no.
- Philip Reczek, Purdue football spectator