With all the talk of 'Take A Knee' in the NFL, how are veterans locally here in Central New York taking it? What are their feelings on the movement?

Each Veteran seems to have mixed feelings on the movement. From Keith Williams Jr. of Verona saying that he personally "takes it as slap in the face", while others like Justin Loboda originally from Vernon Center says "he won't lose sleep over it."

We've reached out to several veterans locally and here's what each had to say:

Mark Klausner of Clinton- Served U.S. Army between 1972-74

I don't care if they want to protest the National Anthem. That's their right. It's my right to not support the NFL if I'm offended. I believe the NFL prefers this negative publicity rather than admit the league coddles and protects domestic abusers, dog-fight promoters, drug abusers, etc."


Justin Loboda orginally from Vernon Center, now New Jersey- Served U.S. Navy from 2008-2017

Maybe I can shed some light on this issue. I joined right out of high school into the Navy in 2008 and served active duty up until August 2017 and reenlisted into the navy reserves for 4 years. As you know it was time to settle down and raise my family in one location. My view is that everyone has an opinion and and free speech. It is their choice on how they want to show it and where they want to show it. I will not lose sleep over someone taking a knee during the National Anthem, there is bigger fish to fry. I want to be clear I don't agree with it at all and think it's very disrespectful. Especially to the men and women who decided to raise their right hand and serve this great nation knowing one day they may have to pay the ultimate sacrifice."


Tim Davis of Westmoreland- U.S. Air force since 2009, currently still serving

I feel it's disrepectful for everyone one of us that is a part protecting this country. The national anthem represents who we are and where we came from and all the men and women past , present and future that got us there."


Daniel Mellito of Central New York- Served in the United States Marine Corps 1983-1987

I find it very disrespectful. That flag means more to me than just on some Given Sunday somebody decides to kneel because they don't like what's going on in the country. Just leave the flag out of it. l walk arm-in-arm with anybody to protest social injustices. But leave my flag out of it!"


Dan Stevener of Westmoreland- Served in the United States Navy 2009-2014

The flag represents the country as a whole, not just the people who served. As long as they're being peaceful, I don't see why they can't protest how they see fit. It's just as much their flag and anthem as the veteran community's. We were sworn to defend the constitution of the United States, and the constitution grants citizens the right to peacefully protest


Mickey Vecchione- A Combat Veteran

I feel everyone is entitled to voice their free expression of speech. However they must remember that when you turn your back on America ,America will turn it's back on you. You pick your fights and make your bed. Then you must deal with the fall out."


Shawn Guernsey of Westmoreland- Army infantry 2010-2016 Afghanistan 2010-2011, 2013-2014.

Their are people who believe there is a problem in our country. They figured out how to protest peacefully and gain national media attention for their cause. A protest that has enraged a majority of the country is sad but it's peaceful and it's still a right. "


Robert C. Barns of Westmoreland- United States Air Force 2014-2017 Nuclear Operations Officer.

To be honest. It's their freedom of speech (so to speak), if they want to kneel let them kneel. It's a football game. If this was a POW, MOH, or some sort of military memorial or military gathering, if you kneel we may have an issue. I think context will play a large role on what "us" veterans find disrespectful. IMHO. "

Michael Vecchione of Virginia beach, originally from NJ-

He's an active duty military veteran with almost 20 years in service. Currently a Senior Enlisted member with 3 tours in the Middle East and a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom

All of you posting about Patriotism and the NFL.. I will say one thing as a veteran since you all like to speak about what is disrespectful to people who served. I did not fight nor did I lose friends in war so you could stand and show patriotism. I did it so you could do whatever you want. Sit, stand, kneel, lay down for all I care! You can't force patriotism with threats of punishment, that's idiotic and countries that do that... Hmmmm let's see...Russia, North Korea..do we really want to be like them?

If you don't like it, shut your pie hole and don't watch. If you agree with them, do the chicken dance when the National Anthem comes on. At the end of the day you have them RIGHT to express yourself as you please. I see active duty men and women on base in uniform ducking in buildings or sitting in their cars to avoid morning colors, any soldier reading this can relate. Chill your panties out and stop being an overly sensitive bitch...although it is your RIGHT to be one!

The only way we can come together as a nation is through dialogue and the only way to achieve dialogue is by looking at things from other people's point of views."


What About You?

Are you a veteran, or currently serving? Comment with your opinion.




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