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RFTW XXXI – SR Assistant Route Coordinator Intro & Newsletter

This months opening Newsletter is from our RFTW XXXI ARC, Bob “Captain America” Nelson.  V/r, Bugs

October 2018 Newsletter – ARC Edition

Greetings from the high desert of Northern Nevada. First, I would like to thank Bugs and the BOD for allowing me this honor to serve as the Southern Route Assistant Route Coordinator for RFTW XXXI 2019.

Secondly, I would like to introduce myself to those who do not know me. I was an FNG, just as we all were once, in 2004. I am a veteran of 10 Runs For The Wall, US Navy (Vietnam ’72 – ‘73), US Army (Afghanistan ’03) Retired in 2010.

I believe that RFTW was founded by Vietnam Veterans who likely never envisioned these situations we face today as a Nation.   We will need to continue to adapt and evolve to live up to our stated Mission. That means we will need to strive to understand the issues and challenges that face our recent era of Veterans and Welcome Them Home. That does not mean that we abandon our heritage but build upon it to include ALL who need our support.

Lastly, I would like to clarify a subject the is often misunderstood and misinterpreted, that is Saluting by United States Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans while not in uniform.

Although it is not widely known, a provision of the 2009 Defense Authorization Act changed federal law to all US Veterans and military personnel not in uniform to render the military hand-salute when the National Anthem is played and during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag.   As for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, follow the guidance of subparagraph ( C ) below.

Here is the actual text from the law:


Section 301(b)(1) of title 36, United States Code, is amended by striking subparagraphs (A) through (C) and inserting the following new subparagraphs:

(A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;  (B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and  (C) all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it  at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart;

Note: Part (C) applies to those not in the military and non-veterans. The phrase “men not in uniform” refers to civil service uniforms like police, fire fighters, and letter carriers – non-veteran civil servants who might normally render a salute while in uniform.


Bob “Captain America” Nelson

Assistant Route Coordinator RFTW SR 2019