Brandon Marshall honors us (veterans) by taking a knee…

John Leyba/Getty Images
John Leyba/Getty Images

Brandon Marshall has honored me by taking a knee during the national anthem; and he is executing leadership from a position of visibility.

I am a veteran of seven military operations including Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. I was second in command of the Air Forces stationed in Afghanistan in 2008.   In that regard, I put many coins on caskets departing the country.   Similarly, I was in the Pentagon during the 9-11 attack.

I served my country with the resolve to protect our constitution and our way of life.  Being in service; whether the military, police, fire, or even as a politician; we swear to protect the constitution.   It is our job.    It is our life.

In one of my fighter squadrons, we had a speech which we recited every Friday afternoon. In those inspirational words, we reminded each other that “we protect the freedoms that others may have forgotten.”   I feel we are forgetting something…

Freedom is established by law in our constitution and begins with Amendment 1; which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Brandon Marshall isn’t denigrating the military. He is honoring its hard fought battles and lives lost by executing his constitutional right (which we defend) to “speak” regarding a serious conundrum that we are struggling with in our country.   It is a problem and has been a problem and a major challenge from both perspectives.

Harvard Leadership 101 class taught by Ronald Heifetz, defines leadership as “mobilizing people to work on hard problems.”

Brandon is mobilizing us and is personally doing the work.   He is donating money and time to move this dialog forward.   He has lost endorsements and received a bunch of boos when entering mile high last week.   Leadership is lonely.

Brandon, thank you for honoring us with your leadership.    Please continue to help bring visibility to this issue, because if it was an easy, we would have already fixed it.

Call me, if you need a military spokesman and supporter.