It’s OK Now

Veterans and active-duty members of the military not in uniform may now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem based on a provision included in the Fiscal 2009 defense authorization act that became law earlier this month. “The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation’s armed forces,” Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake, said in a VA release yesterday. He continued, “This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation’s flag.” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), an Army veteran, sponsored the measure, which builds upon language in last year’s defense legislation that authorized veterans and members of the armed forces not in uniform to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag. Traditionally, members of the nation’s veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization’s official head-gear.