Recently I had the pleasure of participating in Beaufort’s wonderful Fourth of July parade. It has been awhile since local Carteret County Democrats marched in this event, and we were thrilled by the enthusiastic reception we received from parade watchers as we moved down Front Street.
A notable exception was a lady wearing a pro-NRA shirt who was apparently so offended by Democrats marching in celebration of Independence Day that she screamed angrily at us to “go home.”
This is where things get interesting, for the marcher nearest as she shouted happened to be a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, a former soldier grievously wounded during the 1968 Tet Offensive. This real-life patriot underwent months of painful recuperation and suffered from long-term after effects of PTSD, all because he willfully fought, bled and nearly died for his country and for all of us.
Rather than responding with anger, this hero marching proudly in honor of America’s independence, moved within earshot and said quietly, “I am home.”