Veterans have the right to salute

  • Published
  • By Richard Snyder
  • Retiree Activities Office
Many retired military members vividly remember spending hours when they first entered their service, learning the proper way to render the unique military hand salute. Much of that time was spent in front of a mirror practicing to ensure that the hand was at the correct angle, tilted the proper amount and positioned correctly near the eyebrow. 

Much trepidation was felt the first time the salute was rendered to a passing officer or while in formation under the all seeing eye of the drill instructor for fear of having delivered it incorrectly. Soon, with experience and practice, confidence developed and the snap and bearing in the delivery of the salute helped bond the new military member into the brotherhood of the service. 

And then upon retirement, the salute was no longer allowed. Retired members were required to salute the National Ensign during the National Anthem by placing their hand over their heart. Now, thanks to changes incorporated in the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, veterans and active-duty military members not in uniform may now render the military hand salute during the playing of the National Anthem and during the raising, lowering or passing of the National Ensign. 

For more information about the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, or Edwards Retiree Activities Office's services or volunteer opportunities, call 277-4931 or e-mail at