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Letter: Anthem is heart and soul of all who fought and died

Anthem is heart and soul of all who fought and died

My husband, Walter Leasure, lost his physical ability to speak courtesy of the war in Vietnam. He was poisoned by Agent Orange. He had laryngeal cancer. He lost his ability to speak, his freedom to speak, while serving his country so that others could have their freedom of speech.

How could any of these sports figures disrespect, or owners/managers allow the disrespect, of this country he fought to keep free, by abusing that freedom? I wish Walt was still alive to meet with these players who refuse to respect our national anthem. Maybe they would think differently when they were face to face with someone who lost his most precious possession, a voice. Unfortunately he paid the ultimate price in 2001, so one can’t speak to him or hear him struggle to communicate with his electric speaker.

Walt loved football. Please, football players, love him back and show some respect. The national anthem is not the right forum for their complaints and objections. The anthem is the heart and soul of the men who fought and died for our freedom.

Judith Anticola Leasure


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