Geoff’s Journal: Perspective from a former racer and veteran


By Geoff Bodine

September 30, 2017


You may or may not know, but I come from a family who served in the military.


My father served and was wounded in World War II, but survived. I served six years in the National Guard in Corning, New York.


FREEDOM OF SPEECH

It’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to have your opinion. That’s what the first amendment is all about: the freedom of speech.


We don’t always agree with everyone, or with what happens in our lives, and we have the right to voice our displeasure.


It’s very sickening that people choose to use our flag and national anthem as a way to protest for their cause.


The flag and the anthem stand for everything the brave men and women of our military have fought for to keep our country free.


I feel it is a counterproductive move to protest during that time.


Tim Tebow took a knee for a different reason and got criticized for it. He would take a knee to pray to our Lord and Savior, not for protesting.

When Colin Kaepernick took his knee last year, it was to protest; it wasn’t to thank God for his talents or opportunities that have been put in front of him.


That knee was to demonstrate that he didn’t appreciate what our military has done to protect everyone’s freedoms and opportunities.


Just by him taking that knee, all the people who are taking the knee are basically saying the same thing.


They’re expressing the same, sick opinion, that Kaepernick showed with that first protest.


If people really feel that way, I feel bad for them. They might think they have a great life, but it’s pretty shallow, and it isn’t going to be a good ending for them.


Disrespect for the flag and the national anthem is also disrespecting God. He gave us the United States of America, and instilled the will of the people who came to this country.


It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, sex, or the language you speak. We should all be thankful God is loving and forgiving.


My heart breaks for the veterans who have served our country, especially those who come back to our country with PTSD, injuries and struggle to return to civilian life.


NASCAR
I’ve done a lot of racing; national and local series, short tracks, intermediates, road courses, and I can NEVER remember a time, track or place, where the national anthem was NOT played, and that’s amazing.


To have a racing career that spanned a few decades, different states and a variety of series, every single race I ever participated in played the national anthem prior to the start of the race.


At some races, there wasn’t a public prayer, but that would give us the opportunity to pray to ourselves.

I am proud of the way NASCAR has handled it. They haven’t let the world of people and politics change the way they think about our country and military.


Fans continue to stand and put their hands over heart and raise their heads for the flag during the national anthem.


There’s nothing wrong with standing for the national anthem and bowing your head in prayer.


TAKEAWAY

I wish I had a solution, but what we need to do is pray about this. The power of prayer will help.


It may not work on the timetable we think it should, but it makes all the difference.


In these instances, kneeling is not a sign of respect.


Hopefully this madness, this craziness, and un-patriotic kneeling will stop.


DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.


IMAGES
Bodine Family Archive Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts

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