My dad enlisted in the Navy in the early 1950s. He chose to serve a country that at the time still allowed Jim Crow to thrive. It was before Brown v. Board of Education and before the civil rights movement forced the nation by law to live up to its founding ideals for all citizens.
We never talked much about his Navy days, but I suspect he believed he served a country that, while deeply and tragically flawed, was the best in the world. I share that belief today.
Thank you, veterans, for stepping up and standing firm, even in days of doubt, struggle, disappointment and disrespect.