A Tale Of Two “Diverse” American Flag Incidents: “IDGAF,” vs. “The Least I Could Do Was Pick It Up”

[Please note that the idea for this column was inspired by a picture contrast & caption regarding two sensational “viral” stories in the last week, having to do with how two separate individuals behaved regarding the American flag, composed and posted on social media by my fellow ClashDaily.com columnist, John Kirkwood.]

During my time on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, I was all too familiar with the occasional sight of certain less than honorable personnel hustling to get to their cars at 1700 hours, just as The Star Spangled Banner started playing over the base public address system, and the flag-lowering ceremony of “Retreat” got underway.

You see, during Retreat, all activity is supposed to stop.  All personnel who are outdoors are supposed to halt in their tracks, stand at attention, and turn and face the flag (or simply face the direction of the source of music if they cannot see the flag), rendering a proper salute and holding it as long as the music plays.

Retreat, along with its early morning counterpart, Reveille (when the flag is raised for the day), comprise one of the most time-honored and solemn rituals marking the focus and meaning of regular military life, the beginning and end of the duty day in service to our country, and most service members take great pleasure and significance out of observing and participating in it.  Well, speaking for myself at least, I sure did.

Some slackers, however, just see it as a big pain in the ass, and an inconvenience to be avoided.  Those are the people who rush to hurl themselves inside their cars when the music starts, so they can evade standing and saluting.  If one is actually driving, it is required that the vehicle be stopped as soon as the driver is aware that Retreat is underway, in the middle of the roadway if necessary.

Unfortunately, there are some obnoxiously unpatriotic lowlife within the ranks, like Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey, who inadvertently created quite a sweeping outrage on the internet by posting, on Instagram, a picture she took of herself “hiding” (her word, not mine) inside her car during Retreat at Fort Carson, Colorado.  She captioned her “selfie” with smack-talk about dodging Retreat because she just didn’t feel like saluting our flag and how she didn’t want to hear people’s criticism of her for it, because she “doesn’t give a f***”:

“This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the 1700 flag, KEEP ALL YOUR ‘THATS SO DISRESPECTFUL/HOWRUDE/ETC.’ COMMENTS TO YOURSELF cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF.”

Oh yes, I’m all too familiar with the likes of her.  There are more and more like her in all areas of American society, especially since we began putting “diversity” before everything else, including before the Department of Defense’s traditional mission of protecting our nation; ahead of protecting Americans’ lives.

Think I’m exaggerating?  Remember, now, that in the aftermath of the Ft. Hood massacre by Army psychiatrist/Islamic jihadist Maj. Nidal Hasan, how Army Chief of Staff General Casey actually said that it would be a “bigger tragedy” if the much-cherished and exalted diversity of Army culture, of our society overall, were to suffer as the result of measures which might be taken to prevent another attack like it!

“Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse,” Casey said.

Got it?  Casey and those like him have their priorities all figured out: Diversity takes precedence over stopping terrorist massacres of Americans!   There’s no other way to interpret what he said.  And his attitude is echoed throughout the echelons of power at all levels of our nation’s governance and military leadership.  Economist Walter Williams reports that while serving as Chief of Naval Operations from 2007-2011, Admiral Gary Roughead said that “diversity is the No. 1 priority” at the U.S. Naval Academy.  Barf.

Nowadays, showcasing diversity of allegiances among the armed forces rank and file (new regulations allowing Muslim beards, scarfs, and various non-uniform headwear, for example) is just so much cooler and more hopey-changey than saluting that stodgy old racist honky flag, you know.  Demonstrating loyalty to America, and to one’s military duty, takes a backseat to expressing one’s belligerent indifference, & individuality.

Are you needing a job and you’re anti-American?  Dig it!  You’ll be embraced and valued among the new, fundamentally transformed armed forces of the post-American, multicultural, gay communist Obama nation!  Who needs a melting pot when instead we can have a chaotic, crazy mess of warring, un-assimilated alien LGBT interests (as long as they all mainly vote democrat, it’s all good, yo)!?

On the other hand, we also saw a very different American flag story coming out of Sherwood, Oregon this week.  A garbageman named Jeremy Fischer saw an American flag on top of one of the trash cans on his route.  A camera mounted on the garbage truck recorded him on video as he took the flag from the trash, then very solemnly, slowly, and reverently folded the flag according to the triangular military folding protocol he learned in his younger days as a boy scout.  Then, he can be seen carefully carrying the flag over to the homeowner’s porch and placing it there, respectfully.  A neighbor who saw what Fischer did brought it to the attention of his employer, and then the media got a hold of the story.

Interviewed afterward, the plain-spoken Fischer said:  “There’s a lot of sacrifice…and there’s a lot of hope and other stuff that is the American flag…and, I figured that since so many people have died for that, the least I could do is pick it up.”

Maybe there’s still real hope after all.  I just teared up a little replaying the video of Fischer saying what he said.

As my friend John Kirkwood so aptly posted concerning the two individuals, Tariqka Sheffey and Jeremy Fischer, Tell me, which one would you prefer in uniform and which one belongs with the trash?”

Your call, America.  “I don’t give a f***,” or “The least I could do is pick it up.”

To all the Tariqkas in the ranks:  Face the music or GTFO!

About the author: Donald Joy

Following his service in the United State Air Force, Donald Joy earned a bachelor of science in business administration from SUNY while serving in the army national guard. As a special deputy U.S. marshal, Don was on the protection detail for Attorney General John Ashcroft following the attacks of 9/11. He lives in the D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia with his wife and son.

View all articles by Donald Joy

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