LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Please tell me this isn’t true! Yep. Apparently it is true according to several reliable sources, including Vince, “The Ol’ Sarge”. The President of the United States has changed the wording to be used in military services from “on behalf of the President” to “on behalf of the Secretary of Defense”. As a member of the District 18 American Legion Honor Guard, having assisted with military honors for hundreds of deceased veterans and their families for over twenty-five years, we state “On behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation, it is a privilege to present this flag under which your loved one served”.
As one incensed family member recently reported, “At the conclusion of a traditional funeral, the local military detachment performed the usual ritual, folded and presented the American Flag with the dialogue “on behalf of the Secretary of Defense and a grateful nation”. When the soldier that presented the flag was approached and asked about the change his response was “The White House notified all military funeral service detachments to immediately remove ‘the President’ and insert ‘the Secretary of Defense’”. The soldier only smiled and said, “You can draw your own conclusion, Sir, but that was the order.” He too was ashamed of what he was required to say