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NEWS | Sept. 24, 2008

Saluting the flag

By Tech. Sgt. April Wickes 1st Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

Retreat sounds and a junior Air Force member calls out from a parked vehicle "You still have time to run back inside." 

That wouldn't be like a noncommissioned officer, I reply. In fact it wouldn't be like me at all. 

Instead of running back inside of my work center, I face the sound of the music, stand at attention and render a salute as the first note of the national anthem plays.

When the national anthem plays I remember the members of my family that have served in the armed forces. Sometimes the music or the words of the anthem even bring a tear to my eye.

The following information from Air Force Instruction 34-1201, is what you're supposed to do when you hear retreat sound.

When in uniform, stand at attention and salute on the first note of the music; or if there is no music, when you see the flag first being raised or lowered. Drop your salute after the last note is played, or when the flag has been fully raised or lowered, depending on the ceremony. During the playing of "Sound Retreat" which precedes the lowering of the flag, stand at parade rest.

It's important to set an example for junior enlisted members.

I have always rendered proper respect to the U.S. flag. On occasion I have even walked outside at the sound of retreat to pay my respect to the flag and my country. By doing this I hope to impress upon any Airman who may notice me a sense of pride in the United States and the Air Force.