SF QB Kaepernick knows not what he does
Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee in the year 1987.
If the San Francisco 49ers quarterback had been born in 1917, he might have served in the U.S. military in World War II.
If he’d been in the Pacific theater, he might’ve been with the Marines on the blood-soaked beaches of Iwo Jima.
He would’ve known fear first hand at the sight of the kamikaze attacks at Okinawa.
He might’ve been at Guadalcanal, like my father-in-law was, and smelled death and decay everywhere.
On the other side of the world, he might’ve been in the first wave of those brave, young men who stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day.
Or, he might’ve been on the Anzio beachhead, like my uncle was, and survived a chest wound.
He could’ve been at the Battle of the Bulge, and experienced the freezing cold in a foxhole as the Wehrmacht advanced.
He might’ve helped liberate some of the Nazi death camps, and seen with his own eyes man’s inhumanity to man.
If Kaepernick had been born in 1927, he might’ve served in Korea, like my step-father did, in the early 1950s..
He might’ve been with MacArthur at the Inchon landing, or with the 1st Marine Division in its breakout from the Chosin Reservoir in harsh, winter weather conditions.
As an American soldier on the front line, he might’ve heard the terrifying sound of bugles as thousands and thousands of Chinese and North Koreans attacked their positions.
If Kaepernick had been born in 1947, he might’ve been drafted and deployed to Vietnam.
There, he could’ve been on patrol in the jungle and experienced intense heat, monsoon rains — and booby traps and terror.
He might’ve been at Khe Sanh during North Vietnam’s artillery bombardment.
Or, he could’ve been in the middle of the 68 Tet Offensive, when hell broke loose all over the country. A classmate of mine died at Tet, while another perished near the DMZ during the previous year.
If he’d been with Calley at My Lai, he would’ve witnessed the senseless killings of women and children. Makes me wonder, if Kaepernick would’ve followed orders or not.
Maybe in Vietnam, he might’ve been with former Buffalo Bills lineman Bob Kalsu and the 101st Airborne Division at A Shau Valley.
If Caepernick had been born in 1977, he might’ve served with former NFL player Pat Tillman and the Army Rangers in Afghanistan.
So many ifs and what ifs.
But the fact is, Kaepernick, a professional football player, has it made in America — fame, fortune, and freedom — and yet he disparages the country he was born in by refusing to stand for the national anthem.
How selfish, how ungrateful, how ignorant does a person have to be?
Yes, he’s entitled to his opinions as ALL Americans are, but….
Around a campfire, in a buildup to the final scene in the movie “Easy Rider,” Wyatt (Peter Fonda’s character) says to Billy (Dennis Hopper’s character), “We blew it.”
Sorry to say, so has Kaepernick.
Someday, he might even be telling himself that.
Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at (740)373-2121, x534, or at firstname.lastname@example.org