Love and respect of country

To the editor: Isn’t it a pleasure that on any given Thursday or Friday night, the Grayling Vikings JV and varsity football players are on the gridiron showcasing their talents earned after a week of preparation for a soon to be hard fought game? It takes skill, devotion, determination, as well as a dedicated coaching staff to get them ready.
There is one more discovery that needs to be brought to attention about these guys. It is called love and respect of country.  
I know that you, as parents and fans of Viking football, enjoy watching these young men play, but do you also notice one more thing? As the Grayling High School marching band performs our national anthem, and the honor guard from the Grayling American Legion Post 106 and the VFW 3736 attends the colors, our boys in uniform proudly stand at attention on the sideline, holding their helmets under one arm, some of them placing their other hand over their heart.
There is another time when they do this, away from the playing field.  
The Grayling Viking boys soccer team hosted Ogemaw Heights Monday night, the 17th of September.   Just before the game was to start, the soccer team lined up on the sideline, honoring our flag as the national anthem was about to be played. I keep the clock and do the announcing at the soccer games so as the music started, I stepped out the back door of the press box to listen and adjust the volume if needed. I saw the varsity and JV football teams in the far distance on the practice fields and noticed the boys were standing at attention, facing the flag, holding their helmet under their left arm, their other hand over their heart. They did not have to do this, but they did.
It made me proud to see these kids honor our flag, even while in practice and not in a game mode. It demonstrates the grit of what these young men are made of. It reveals the upbringing that many of these boys had from parents who cared. It showcases the common good of our future Americans. 
We are proud of these young men, for what they are, and what they are turning out to be.
Mike Shearer

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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