I Fought for Old Glory

Melbourne, FL

I wrote the attached poem several years ago for Flag Day after watching protestors burn an American flag, and several people telling me that soldiers "don't fight for the flag." The soldier in the photograph is my younger brother, Sge Lawrence M. Bussey, a disabled Desert Storm veteran, and I used his photograph with his permission.

I was stationed at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines, from June 1987 though August 1990, and worked as a tactical counterintelligence collections specialist for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, District 42. During my time there we operated against an active communist insurgency that was trying to overthrow the government of the Philippines, killed American servicemen and attacked our property. There were also right-wing military members who attempted several coups against the government. It was a very violent period and I was in the middle of it.

When driving back to base after spending a couple of weeks "in the field" with different Philippine Army intelligence units, feeling dirty, hungry and tired, my heart always swelled with pride and I immediately felt peace as the flag, Old Glory, came into view in front of me at the Clark Air Base main gate. I knew I had survived once more and was safe the moment I saw it.

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