More than a symbol

I extend my deepest appreciation and gratitude to the coaches and staff of the Baylor University football program for having a player like Kyle Boyd on the team and specifically for allowing him to carry the American flag onto the field before games. The only Baylor game I’ve attended this year was the Tech game in Arlington last Saturday. I did not know Kyle had been doing this. The article in the next day’s Trib with details about this impressive young man explained a lot.

I was not surprised to learn Kyle is a Marine. Marine training does not build character, it reveals it. This young man exemplifies that simple tenet.

At Saturday’s game I was surprised as he led the sea of gold helmets down the field with the flag streaming above him. The flag may well be “just a symbol” as asserted by some, but sitting there in the roaring crowd on Veteran’s Day, fighting back tears and a patriotic lump in my throat, it occurred to me that this “symbol,” more than just a flag, represents the best in all of us.

To me, Kyle was carrying this flag not just for himself but for all of us, specifically every member of the military and veterans who have served and especially those who have given the “last full measure of devotion” under that flag. Long may it wave.

Thank you Kyle and Semper Fi!

David L. Jumper, Waco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Jumper identifies himself as “a former Baylor Bear and cranky old Marine Vietnam veteran.”

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We adopted our daughter from Guatemala in 2002 and I’ve sometimes shared this story about Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez when I speak to groups about immigration, as it shows the sacrifice of one from my daughter’s birth country who came here without papers. It is one of many sacrifices that immigrants have made for the USA. Whether ancestors who arrived generations ago or newly arrived immigrants, the chance at a decent life and good opportunities in the USA is a beacon to many. It is past time that Congress quit using the Dreamers as a political football. It is one of the many reasons I’m running for Congress in TX CD25. Our entire immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed now, starting with passing a “clean” DACA bill, then moving on to the Dreamers, then to full immigration reform.

DACA recipients and other Dreamers are some of the hardest-working young people I know. They understand the unique opportunities in the United States and they’re determined to contribute and to make the best of it. We need to embrace these Dreamers, who are as “American” as any born here, and encourage them to use their talents, skills and knowledge in making our country a better place for all. We will all benefit. Thank you for reminding everyone about this in the Trib with the Nov. 10 column on Lance Cpl. Gutierrez.

Kathi Thomas, Dripping Springs