NFL players may want to take a look at this video from the early 1990s.
It is a speech given by Master Sergeant Raul Perez “Roy” Benavidez, a Medal of Honor recipient who was honored in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan for his heroic actions during combat in South Vietnam in 1968.
His story is truly an incredible one. Benavidez saved the lives of at least 8 men during a battle he would later describe as “six hours in hell.”
Want an example of his heroic actions that day? The following excerpt based on his Roman Catholic Saints bio is incredible:
At one point in the battle an NVA soldier accosted him and stabbed him with his bayonet. Benavidez pulled it out, yanked out his own knife, killed him and kept going, leaving his knife in the NVA soldier’s body.
That my friends, is a badass.
Benavidez suffered so many injuries rescuing his fellow troops that he was thought dead upon being evacuated and nearly zipped up in a body bag.
At a speech to veterans and military members at the Soldier of the Year awards in the early 1990s, Benavidez delivered an epic speech. It started with humor about his joy in wearing the uniform and getting a weekly haircut, but then moved into a poem about the American flag. It was a poem he would recite and then seek out those who disrespected the flag to ask them one very important question. You can see that question further below.
The video is an absolute must see.
American Flag Poem
Hello? Remember me?
Some people call me Old Glory, others call me the Star Spangled Banner.
But whatever they call me, I’m your flag.
The flag of the United States of America.
Something has been bothering me, so I thought I’d talk it over with you because it’s about me and you.
Not too long ago, people were lining up on both sides of the street to see a parade go by, and naturally I was leading that parade.
Proudly waving in the breeze.
And when your Daddy saw me coming, he would immediately remove his hat and place it over his left shoulder so his right hand would be over his heart.
And you, you were standing there, right next to your Dad.
You didn’t have a hat, and your little sister not to be outdone was standing right next to you.
Both of you had your right hand over your heart.
What has happened now?
I don’t feel as proud as I used to.
I’m still the same old flag.
I see children around, playing, shoutin’ … They don’t seem to know or care who I am or what I stand for.
I saw an elderly gentleman take his hat off, but when he saw others with theirs on, he turned around and slowly walked away.
Hey, I’m still the same old flag.
A few stars have been added since those parades long ago. A lot of blood has been shed.
Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore?
Have you forgotten who I am? What I stand for? And where I’ve been?
Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea and Vietnam.
Take a good look one of these days at the memorial honor roll. Of all the names of all those that never came back. They gave their lives for this great nation to be free.
When you salute me, you salute each and every one of them.
Well, it won’t be long now and I’ll be coming down that street leading that parade, and proudly waving in the breeze.
So, when you see me coming stand up straight and salute, and I’ll salute you by waving back.
And then I know, that you remember.
Benavidez then told of an epic question he would ask those that disrespect the flag, that burn it, that kneel in it’s presence.
Listen up Colin Kaepernick and all those Kaepernick wannabes out there …
Of those flag protesters, he said: “I find those guys whenever I say this poem.”
“Now they come up to me and ask me for forgiveness,” Benavidez explained.
“You know what I ask them? … How does it feel to enjoy freedom at the expense of my buddy’s life?“
So, answer that question football players – How does it feel?