OCTOBER 19, 2012
• The Peninsula Warrior - Army
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By Airman 1st Class Teresa Aber
633RD AIR BASE WING PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Americans have grown up hearing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events and special ceremonies. They place their right hand over their heart, and sometimes sing along. From the ﬁrst day of Basic Military Training, hearing that familiar song brings a whole new meaning to every Service member’s heart. However, sometimes we get complacent and lose sight of the important things the song reminds of us daily. “We all rush around and can get distracted with our day-to-day lives,” said retired Master Sgt. Thomas Cleveland. “Some military members wait inside until the song is over, or they continue to drive while the music is playing because they’re in a rush to get somewhere.” According to Air Force Instruction 1341201 Chapter 2.17, “Individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the ﬁrst note of the National Anthem, and maintain that position until the last note.” Army regulation 600-25, Appendix C, Table C-1 states that military members in uniform must render a hand salute if outdoors, and stand at attention if indoors. Personnel should hold this position until the last note of music has been played. Air Force instructions and Army regulations state that all civilians, as well as Service members who are present but not in uniform, should remove any headgear, and place their right hand over their heart. Service members in physical training uniforms should do the same. Master Sgt. Danny Avery, 633rd Comptroller Squadron ﬁnancial services chief, salutes the ﬂag not because he has to, but because he believes it honors all veterans. “I swell up with pride when I hear that music playing,” said Avery. “Saluting the national anthem is my way of giving thanks to the people that I serve beside today, as well as my father’s generation and my grandfather’s generation who served before me.” At both installations, the “giant voice” system plays the national anthem at 5 p.m. every weekday. Individuals driving on base should stop their vehicle until after the song has ended. If sponsored civilians or contractors are unaware, it is the responsibility of Airmen and Soldiers to inform them of the customs and courtesies
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Photo by Airman 1st Class Teresa Aber
According to U.S. Air Force instructions and Army regulations, when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, military members in uniform must render a hand salute if outdoors, and stand at attention if indoors. All civilians, as well as Service members who are present but not in uniform, should remove any headgear, and place their right hand over their heart.
rendered at this time. “Not everyone that comes on base knows or understands the respect we give to the national anthem,” said Senior Airman Jordan Rushing, 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron installation geospatial information and services technician. “I saw a civilian contractor walking down the street when the national anthem played not too long ago. A sergeant stopped his car and told the civilian what he was supposed to do. The civilian didn’t get upset; he actually thanked him, and then stood next to him with his hand over his heart while the sergeant saluted.” Day-in and day-out, we come to work, we do our jobs, we go home, and then we come back the next day and do it all over again. Sometimes it can be a little monotonous, sometimes it can get a little crazy and it is easy to get distracted. No matter how busy or distracted we get, we should always take the time to remember and honor the national anthem and what it stands for.
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Fort Eustis edition of the Oct. 19, 2012 issue of Peninsula Warrior