Got another chance to salute the Flag this week at a military graduation (the law was changed during W’s administration, allowing veterans in civilian clothing to salute the flag during the National Anthem and as it passes in review). The first time I was able to resume that privilege a few years ago, I was unprepared for just how much that meant to me. My eyes filled with tears as I did so – as they have every subsequent time, including this week. I know what the terms of my Oath were, and are. No one ever even hinted that I was no longer bound by that Oath, any more than they told me I was no longer bound by my top secret security clearance the day I removed that uniform for the last time. And I’ve always considered myself bound by both – the Oath, and the terms of my clearance. Those shall stand as long as I do, as well as the Code of Conduct that was committed to heart at SERE school during a particularly intensive “training” environment in the midst of a major war. We’re (most of us) still around, and do not forget. The “gummint” warning a few years ago about veterans was not entirely without merit, any more than kicking docile dogs just because they appear peaceful is a good idea. There is no need for the question mark at the end of this thread’s title. And the title is much too narrow. There are many of us that no longer identify with the Republican Party (in my case for more than two decades now), yet we count ourselves among those in the crosshairs. Those who put us there might be well advised that many of us recall what SERE stands for – the first three are Survive, Evade, and Resist. The Escape portion of that will be the problem of the one looking through the crosshairs.