A local veteran doesn't want a recent controversy surrounding Haddam Selectman Melissa Schlag's decision to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance at a public meeting to be tied to veterans.
Air Force veteran Kate Hamilton Moser said she knows many fellow veterans are criticizing Schlag, and said she understands why they feel deeply for the flag.
“For so many of us, you are socialized to believe that the flag stands for home, that the flag stands for safety,” Hamilton Moser said.
She is pleading with people to reconsider tying Schlag’s protest to veterans. The controversy, Moser believes, distracts people from real problems veterans are facing daily, such as PTSD, sexual trauma, and long-term quality of life issues.
“Until you’re addressing all of these other issues, you’re using veterans as a prop. To me that’s the ultimate disrespect,” she said.
Schlag insisted that her decision to take a knee at a recent Haddam Board of Selectman meeting was to protest President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier that day.
“I watched the nightmare of a press conference in Helsinki. I was disgusted with what happened,” she said on Friday.
Schlag continues to draw criticism from across the country after the video of her protest went viral.
“I didn’t hurt anybody. I still love my country, and I will fight for my country as hard as anybody else will,” she said.
Dozens of people on Facebook are so far indicating plans to attend a silent vigil in support of Schlag at Haddam’s next Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday night. The meeting was moved from town hall to Haddam’s Volunteer Fire Company to accommodate what is expected to be a significant crowd.