The high-pitched sounds hurt his ears, it almost sounded like someone was fulling a steel rode across concrete. Doug immediately ran towards his window and looked out of it. He felt his blood begin to boil.
He crossed the line. Doug was going to do something about this. He balled his hands into fists and left the room. It was time to put the skills he learned as a marine into good use.
Doug had retired from his challenging career a long time ago, and he was now enjoy his free time and living the simple life in his quiet neighborhood in Mansfield, Texas. He lived on his own and he liked it that way.
Doug was a bachelor and enjoyed organizing his days around his routine. Every morning, he would wake up at the crack of dawn, the he would exercise and the he would move on to one very important task.
Before breakfast, he would step outside and walk to his American flag that stood at the corner of his house. It stood tall and proud as it waved lightly in the breeze. It was lit up perfectly by the morning son.
He faced the flag and paused as he saluted it before heading back inside. He did this every single day of him life.
For a lot of people, the flag symbolizes one’s freedom and acts as a sacred item that they can honor and give thanks to. The flag is used to represent many things. The stripes on the flag represent the 13 colonies, the starts are used to represent the 5o states of the union and the colors represent valor, purity, vigilance and justice.
But not everyone views the slag in the same way.
The first time Doug noticed a neighbor eyeing him when he saluted the flag, he didn’t pay it much mind. He even thought that maybe the neighbor was showing his respect to the flag too, but soon, Doug would discover how wrong he was about this.
It was just another normal day when Doug’s neighbor forced him to brush the rust from his Marine skills.
Just like any other morning, Doug woke up, got up, worked out, and started getting dressed for the day. That’s was when he heard an odd sound coming from his front yard.
The high-pitched screeching made it feel like his eardrums could burst. It sounded like someone was pulling a steel rod across concrete. Doug watched from his window and saw that that was exactly what was happening.
He watched with wide eyes and a clenched jaw as his neighbor pulled his flag upside down, causing it to scrape across the concrete floor.
Doug ran to his front door and swung it open. He instantly started yelling at the disrespectful man. The neighbor simply scowled at Doug and continued what he was busy with. Doug had never seen anyone act this disrespectfully, he knew he had to step into action.
Doug excelled in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program when he was still serving as a marine. The MCMAP trained marines in hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat techniques and skills.
This meant that Doug was the last person you would want to mess with. His neighbor was about to discover this too.
Doug stormed out of his house fuming as he approached the rude neighbor, “What the heck, man?” Doug confronted him, “What are you doing to my flag? Give that back.” Doug demanded.
“I’m putting this in the trash where it belongs”, The man replied. Doug felt his face flush with anger as his hands balled into tight fists. How could his neighbor act this way?
Doug didn’t have a problem when people’s views and opinions differed from his own. He knew his country hadn’t been as great to others as it had been to him and that others didn’t love and respect it as much as he did, but there was a clear line to cross.
The line was crossed when when people would force their opinions on others and when they would act disrespectfully towards others. This man had crossed the line.
Doug quickly blocked the man’s arm that was about to hoist the flag up into the dumpster. In one swift move, Doug had the man in a headlock in one arm and his flag in the other.
Surrounding neighbors began to take notice of the dramatic scene unfolding. Doug yelled out for someone to call the cops. But was he wrong to use such force?
Doug was reporting the man for trespassing and stealing his property. When he called out to his neighbors for help, they quickly came to his aid.
The veteran received an outpouring of support and neighbors who witnessed the altercation couldn’t help but be impressed by Doug’s decisive reaction. But was he right?
Once news spread about Doug’s ropey encounter with a neighbor that tried to steal the patriotic man’s flag, a debate blew up online.
Some wondered if he was right to use his skills as a marine on such an unexpecting victim. After all, the man wasn’t violent towards him, just his flag. But other people weren’t having it.
Many people applauded Doug for his swift and precisive actions in disabling his offender. An American flag or not, the man was still stealing his property.
In a country where freedom of speech is thrown into the forefront of every disagreement, it seems as though this neighbor had confused freedom of speech with freedom of action. And paid for it. And Doug?
Doug returned his much-loved flag to his front yard and continued honoring it every morning. Although his patriotism may not be for everyone, at least we can all agree that he’s not harming anyone.
Maybe we should all learn to live and let live more, or as The Beatles famously put it; let it be.