By Shane Schreck - Combat Veteran
The American flag has always been a symbol of my life’s calling. It all started for me when I was five years old, I was in a gift shop in Florida getting ready to come back to Iowa. My Grandmother told me I could have one souvenir, and I chose a little American flag. She kind of laughed and said, “that’s what you want for your Florida souvenir?” I said yes, that’s all I want. She asked me why an American flag, I responded by telling her that I was going to be a Soldier someday. That’s when I made my mind up at such an early age, I knew that I wanted to be a Soldier and I wanted to serve my Country. That calling was just ingrained in me, every time I would see a flag I would get overwhelmed with the sense of loyalty. My admiration for the flag has gone on my entire life. I’ve raised our flag in countless combat zones, I’ve watched it draped over my friends' caskets at Arlington. I can remember back in 2001 just weeks following the September 11th attack... thinking that wow, our Country finally gets it. Everyone had a flag out and as a Country, we were finally showing our patriotic roots. I feel like we’ve gone away from that and that’s a problem. Any symbol of the American flag is a priceless piece of art, it stands for so much more. It stands for something that’s so much bigger than any of us, and that’s something they cannot take away from us... ever. That’s why I bleed red, white, and blue. I do it all for the stars and stripes and given the chance... I would do it again. Thank God for the men and women in our Country that defend her.