Sunday was Military Appreciation Day at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. We were lucky enough to have a few tickets to see the Jaguars take on the San Diego Chargers. There was the requisite flyover by four A-10 Thunderbolts and lots of fireworks.
The featured hometown hero was a soldier from the 82nd Airborne who sent a video message to the fans and his family from Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
At halftime, 125 young men and women took the oath of enlistment for all branches of service administered by a general officer from White Sands, New Mexico. After the oath, Phil Stacey, of American Idol fame and a sailor himself, sang "Proud to be an American." Needless to say, Gayle and I were a bit overwhelmed.
As part of the ceremony, fans in six sections in the north end zone (left hand side of the picture) where we were sitting were to hold up cards on cue that would form a giant American flag. The stunt would take all of 60 seconds.
But the seven folks in the row ahead of us couldn't be bothered. About halfway through the song they bolted for the concession stands.
Gayle and I were both a bit incensed. After all, these 125 men and women, this was an important day. They deserved more than a dash for food.
A woman behind us tapped Gayle on the shoulder.
"They just don't get it."
She was right.
Her husband is a helicopter pilot who had just returned from Tikrit.