It’s time for our nation to reset. In the military, you don’t see a person’s color. I never did nor do I now. There are no colors in cockpits or on battlefields. Especially when shit is going south. The only colors you see are the colors of our flag. Red, white and blue. Good guys or bad guys. In my 20 years in the Air Force, my only thought process was “are you with me?” And, “let’s do this!” I didn’t really have time to think or react beyond those parameters.

That’s the national dilemma. That flag represents the very reason that we have the nation that we have. Life happens. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not. We have our faith and we have our flag. I suppose that it might be difficult to understand the spirit of our country if you’ve never served it. I suppose that if you’ve endured unfair treatment by authority figures it would be tough. But, choosing to feel so will not improve anybody’s plight. It’s counterproductive.

In the end, we are a common people with a higher cause. We stand for something very uncommon. Either you’re working toward the greater good or you’re not. We’re the “shining city on the hill” or we’re not. The NFL and “kneelers” lost that message. They actually never had it because it was poorly articulated. And, they won’t get it back. If you’re wearing Che Guevara tee shirts at your pressers or going to practice wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs, you’ve lost me. Because you’re an idiot.

If we lose our common bond, we lose the very essence of our existence. Respect the values and you, in turn, will be respected. It doesn’t have to be this hard.

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Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson, United States Air Force (Retired), is a military combat pilot, distinguished White House military aide, bestselling author, and popular conservative public speaker. Among Patterson’s literary efforts include two New York Times best sellers, Dereliction of Duty and Reckless Disregard. His most recent books include War Crimes and Conduct Unbecoming. Patterson served 20 years as a pilot on active duty in the United States Air Force and saw tours of duty world-wide including combat operations in Grenada, Bosnia, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti. From 1996 to 1998, Colonel Patterson was Military Aide to President Bill Clinton. During that time, he served at the right hand of President and Mrs. Hillary Clinton and was responsible for the President's Emergency Satchel, otherwise known as the "Nuclear Football," the black bag with the nation's nuclear capability that accompanies the president at all times. As such, Patterson had an office and a bedroom in the White House and accompanied the First Family at all times. In addition, Colonel Patterson was operational commander for all military units assigned to the White House, which included Air Force One, Marine One, Camp David, and the White House Transportation Agency. Patterson was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is a Distinguished Graduate from the Air Command and Staff College; he has his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech University and a Master's in Business Administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He, his wife and their three children currently reside in California. www.buzzpatterson.net Facebook @ Buzz Patterson Twitter @ BuzzPatterson

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