Swing and a Miss…

Dear Editor,
Ben Olson’s Oct. 6 Bouquets & Barbs column said Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem is not right.
All the veterans I know, including myself (U.S. Army, ‘65-’68), support Kaepernick’s kneeling protest during the national anthem.
Olson invoked his father’s military service, which he has every right to be proud of. What bothers me is how many who never served our country, via any branch of the U.S. Military, often invoke a family member who did as though that excuses them for being a draft dodger. Yes, I know there is no longer a draft; I still see ‘em as draft dodgers.
I’m tired of these shirkers who never served riding on the backs of a family member who did. Bring back the draft!
Prior to “W’s” invasion of Iraq, I along with two other veterans and about 50 more people marched across the Long Bridge in protest of “W’s” impending war.
A couple of weeks later on First Ave. and in front of the Bonner County Court House there was a pro-Iraq war demonstration of about eight people in support of “W’s” impending invasion. I stopped to talk to ‘em and learned none had ever served in the military. When I asked one man of military age if he was going to enlist, his excuse was he has a family. Apparently he believed no one in the military has a spouse and kids. They always have an excuse.
By the way, Ben, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to honor ANY national flag. Are you going to say that’s wrong too?
And if one says it is freedom of religion to not honor a national flag, why is it not OK for one on a personal path of conscience, as Kaepernick is, to kneel in protest? Who are we to say how Kaepernick should protest?

Lee Santa


I quote myself from the column which you apparently didn’t read closely: “The thing I love most about our country is that we can protest against it without fear of being tossed in jail or stoned by the masses. … [Kaepernick] has every right to protest, just like you have every right not to protest.”
Not sure why you think I condemned Kaepernick’s protest when I, in fact, stated very clearly that I supported it.

-Ben Olson, Publisher


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