What Is the Red Shirt Friday Tradition?
What is the Red Shirt Friday Tradition and Why?
Who can forget the home coming that many of the Vietnam Vets received in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s? The Vietnam Conflict became a long drawn out affair and eventually public opinion slowly turned against the successful conclusion of the War. Those of us who lived through those troubled years remember very quickly how the returning Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine and Coast Guard Veterans were treated and welcomed home. Who can forget the rotten eggs, tomatoes and even a popular movie star that made a public spectacle of her self and those who heard the Call of Duty when their Country needed them? The challenges in the theater of conflict was bad enough for those that chose to wear their Country’s Uniform but to be publicly humiliated and maligned was over the top.
The phrases, Jack Booted Thugs, Baby Killers, and so forth still rings loud and clear in the minds and consciousness of many of those who served in Vietnam as well as the Families and Friends of many who lost loved ones and friends. The Vietnam Memorial (The Wall) is a constant reminder to many of those days. In the heat of a political election in 2004 and 2005, we heard the same phrases about those young men and women who chose to hear the Call of Duty, when once again their Country needed them. Today’s Military is All Voluntary! Since September 11, 2001, there have been over five million (5,000,000) young men and women, just in the United States alone step up to the plate for their Country! Many of America’s friends and allies also came to our aid and volunteered their fighting forces to take it to the people that attacked America on that day.
This time though, it was going to be different! The Silent Majority and many of the Vietnam Vets said, “Enough is Enough!” The Red Shirt Friday Tradition Was Born! Slowly but surely that Tradition was catching on, not only in the United States but Canada as well and many of us have taken it by advertising and conferences to the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. In 2005, Deb and I had two of our sons, Scotty and Tony, were in the United States Army. So it was a natural for us. They loved to hear that Mom and Dad were proud of them and that Mom and Dad said they were heroes to them. Our Two Boys, along with the over Five Million other Young Men and Women who answered the Call of Duty, WERE NOT DRAFTED OR EVEN HAD THE REMOTES THOUGHT OF BEING DRAFTED! As our two sons said to us: “We want to do what you, Papa, Uncle Jim and Uncle Frank did!” I knew what that meant and so did my Dad and two brothers. They, like so many others, wanted to be a part of the solution.
What the Red Shirt Friday Tradition is:
1) It is our way of very simply wearing a red shirt on Friday to honor their commitment
2) It is our way of showing them that we appreciate their Call to Duty
3) It is our way to let them know that they are heroes to us
What the Red Shirt Friday Tradition is Not:
1) It is not political in any way, we have turned down several politicians who wanted to capitalize on it
2) It in no way shows a support for or against the Global War on Terror
Those of us who commit to the Red Shirt Friday Tradition will do so, Until They All Come Home!
Sam and Deb Burgess have been very active and vocal supporters of the Red Shirt Friday Tradition since the Fall of 2005. We have done numerous presentations, interviews and articles regarding the Red Shirt Friday Tradition, Until They All Come Home! On the Red Shirt Friday site you will find many articles, pictures, videos, and interviews regarding the tradition.