Local veterans take a stand on taking a knee

Erick Wilkinson reports

Many military veterans are taking a stand on taking a knee during the National Anthem. While they fought under the same flag, some have very different opinions about the flag protest controversy.

"If you were born in this country and you live in this country you stand up. You have an obligation to stand up," said Navy veteran Andre Williams.

"I just don't think it's right. That's my flag," said Bob Vien, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam. He supports players' rights to protest but thinks the National Anthem should be off limits.

"If you don't want it to be your flag, that's your business," he said. "But don't make your business my business."

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At the Everett VFW there were very different opinions.

"I support it 100 percent," said Larry Foster.

Foster, a Marine Corps veteran, said he wasn't paying much attention to the protests until the President weighed in, calling protesters "sons of bitches" and suggesting they should be fired for refusing to stand during the anthem.

"That's what turned it for me," said Foster. "I think this is going to backfire on him. You're already seeing it."

"It's what the constitution guarantees us," said Tim Odell from the VFW. "So many people fought to protect that constitution over the years. It would be pretty hypocritical to say they can't express their views."

Others raised questions about what might happen if or when the protests spread to fans in the stands. Could they turn violent? How tolerant will those with opposing views be of their fellow fans?

© 2017 KING-TV


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