Roger Dean Stadium has become an iconic sports venue in Palm Beach County. People go on dates there; families, groups, and friends have outings there, have a bite to eat, and most would say it’s a great place to spend a few hours enjoying America’s Favorite Pastime.
However, in recent days, the shine of that venue has been dulled and stained with a controversy surrounding our men and women in uniform, and specifically our POW/MIAs. The story started out simply enough when it was noticed by Mr. Frank Plescia, (a frequent patron who happens to be POW/MIA Committee Chairman for the State of Florida, Disabled American Veterans) that there was no POW/MIA flag on display at the stadium. As a result, he contacted Mr. Alex Inman, who is the Events Services Manager and offered not only a free flag, but also a free flag pole installation by a licensed concrete contractor, which after initial attempts at contact failed, Mr. Inman declined, stating in an email, “Once again thank you for your interest in us here at Roger Dean Stadium. It was an organizational decision to graciously decline the offer.”
Decline the offer?! This issue regards a flag that has become the symbol of the plight of our POW/MIAs; countless men and women in uniform and their families. Names such as S/Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; a POW that our government has virtually abandoned for political reasons in the Mid-East and Lt. Michael Behenna; a POW of the PC war at home in America come to mind.
So many of our sons and daughters ignored by the government, and now a flag designed to bring awareness to them is brushed off with a “…gracious decline” by a venue that derives much of its revenue by many of our Veterans, their family members, and the families of those missing and held captive.
I spoke with Mrs. Plescia concerning this and was informed that she contacted General Manager Mike Bauer, who not only reinforced the “gracious decline” of the flag, he also compared it to being no different than not flying the flag of an opposing ball club. I was additionally informed that he stated management’s belief that honoring our military once per year during a special event is sufficient. Since the story broke, a social media frenzy and phone call campaign has ensued and many concerned citizens as well as Veteran groups have become embroiled in expressing their outrage with the decision by the stadium to show such total disdain and disrespect to our nation’s military.
As of press time, neither Mr. Bauer or Mr. Inman have returned any of our phone calls, however I just got word that Mr. Bauer has decided to bow to the rightfully intense pressure exerted by the many that have been calling his office, and will now accept and fly the POW/MIA flag. While The Patriots Press is glad to hear that news, we are never the less dismayed that such a report has become necessary in the first place.
This is America, and no public venue should ever be allowed to get away with such a total lack of regard and respect for our nation and our heroes.Add a comment