I finally found a supplier on the Internet to order my cloth Air Force missile badges at a reasonable price. I took my discharge from the Air Force before the patches became available and never had the chance to sew the badge on my fatigue uniform.
“Who cares?” You ask? Well, I do. I want to sew it on my fabric anti-COVID-19 face mask. A mark, a notice to all that wearing a face mask is the right thing to do. If veterans do it, then it must be OK. But, things change and what was once a special badge of service is now a long forgotten footnote in the short American attention span. My old job is so passé nobody even remembers why we did it in the first place. Only my peers who also wear the badge know what it means.
Before I go down the rabbit hole of distraction here, let me first express my admiration for those who excelled in whatever MOS, NEC, or AFSC they were in. Don’t know what the acronyms stand for? A few of the “veterans” I meet don’t either. For the ones who really sweated it out, I simply ask for your understanding. I sweated it out, too. I hold a Master Missileman Badge and it took me seven years to earn it. And that brings me to the complainers. You know, the ones who say we’re taking away their freedom by asking them to protect others.
Many of the anti-maskers I’ve listened to are not veterans, but oddly, there is a group of hero wannabes who parade around in badgeless, second-hand camo uniforms, holding their imitation M-16s they bought with credit cards across their chests who only wear face covering to prevent identification. They act like they are begging for someone to thank them for their service while they try to intimidate those who think and act differently than they do.
My dad, an Army field artillery veteran who ended up with five bronze battle stars, went ashore at Oran, North Africa, in 1942, exactly one week after I was born, once told me “Beware of flag wavers, most of them never served.” If he knew I ordered my old Air Force badges to sew on my COVID masks to encourage others to wear protective face covering, he would simply look at me over the top of his newspaper, and keep on reading.