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30-year-old Speech from Combat Vet resurfaces

by Spike Bowan  |  Published on May 4, 2017

A speech from an Old Army Grunt to a Church Congregation resurfaces 30 years later. And it couldn’t be more applicable to today’s problems in the United States.

There is no denying it, our Country is in a time of turmoil and moral dilemma.
Riots and protests. The American flag being burned every time I turn on the news. Division and hatred among the masses at every turn.

So when a dear friend reached out to me saying that she found a speech her Grandfather delivered many years ago to a church congregation, I had to look at it.

His very well written address is entitled “Old Glory” and is very poignant to today’s plight. Sgt. Bob Ray never published the speech, even though it probably should have been.
Here are his words:

“…I am Old Glory the symbol of a once God Fearing Nation made up of Men, Women and Children from all Nations of the world that came to these shores seeking freedom from all types of oppression. What am I now?

I am no longer flying proudly with honor and respect from all who see me. I am left out in all types of weather and treated like a dishrag that a housewife hangs out on the line to dry and fade. I remember that when I went by, hats came off and hands were lifted to hearts in Honor and Respect. You heard parents telling their children to stand up straight and tall because the flag was passing by. Now I am practically ignored except for some oldster that recalls, with a tear in the corner of their eye, what honor was accorded me in days gone by.

Why there was a time when men looked to see if I was still there during the rockets’ red glare to be given encouragement to see that I was still flying on high. Ah! There were many times in years gone by that men and women were strengthened to keep fighting because I was flying overhead. Now I am spat on and burned by people of this great nation. I recall the many times as I flew over the Armed Forces of this Nation, how I was raised in the morning and lowered in the evening with tender loving care. I flew as a symbol over many war machines to remind all that saw me that we were Americans and mighty proud that I was there.

What has happened? There was a time that men and women were proud of me as their symbol of freedom. All over the world are the graves of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen that fought hard and died for this God given Freedom of ours. What has happened? Why the changes that have taken place, and are still taking place? Would I dare say that it is because this nation no longer gives God the credit and honor for the blessings of living in this land? Oh” Yes. But I do dare because this is exactly what has and still is happening, as we have lost respect for our Creator and so we have lost respect for each other. What is happening in our courts, law enforcement and every branch of government is a result of not giving God the glory.

It is no wonder that I am burned and desecrated! I wonder what all those men that have died so bravely in wars, or whatever man pleases to call them, would say if they could rise up and see all that has taken place and is taking place? Would they join the crowd that burns me or would they take action against the flag burners? I can only speculate but God almighty knows the hearts of men and knows for certain why men act as they do in all matters. This nation, under God (does that sound familiar to anyone?) should go back and read what our founding fathers had to say. It’s no wonder I am dragged through the dirt, left out in all weather and burned; because this nation I once flew over so proudly is doing the same thing to the principles of it’s founding fathers.”

Master Sergeant Bob Ray served in the U.S. Army during both World War II and Korea. He passed away in October of 2015. He is survived by his bride Marie Drennen-Gillespie-Ray, who says she looks forward to reuniting with him in Heaven when God calls her home.

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