86 WWII vet on Gay Marriage: What do you think our boys fought for?

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
This is well worth a watch. He couldn't be any more right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrEbJBFWIPk&feature=player_embedded

Transcript:

Good morning, Committee. My name is Phillip Spooner and I live at 5 Graham Street in Biddeford. I am 86 years old and a lifetime Republican and an active VFW chaplain. I still serve three hospitals and two nursing homes and I also serve Meals on Wheels for 28 years. My wife of 54 years, Jenny, died in 1997. Together we had four children, including the one gay son. All four of our boys were in the service. I was born on a potato farm north of Caribou and Perham, where I was raised to believe that all men are created equal and I've never forgotten that. I served in the U.S. Army, 1942-1945, in the First Army, as a medic and an ambulance driver. I worked with every outfit over there, including Patton's Third Army. I saw action in all five major battles in Europe, and including the Battle of the Bulge. My unit was awarded Presidential Citations for transporting more patients with fewer accidents than any other [inaudible] I was in the liberation of Paris. After the war I carried POW's back from Poland, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, and also hauled hundreds of injured Germans back to Germany.
I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, "Do you believe in equal, equality for gay and lesbian people?" I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, "What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?" I haven't seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice. For what? For freedom and equality. These are the values that give America a great nation, one worth dying for.
I give talks to eighth grade teachers about World War II, and I don't tell them about the horror. Maybe [inaudible] ovens of Buchenwald and Dachau. I've seen with my own eyes the consequences of caste systems and it make some people less than others, or second class. Never again. We must have equal rights for everyone. It's what this country was started for. It takes all kinds of people to make a world war. It does make no sense that some people who love each other can marry and others can't just because of who they are. This is what we fought for in World War II. That idea that we can be different and still be equal.
My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have a certain set of rights, but our gay child would be left out. We raised them all to be hard-working, proud, and loyal Americans and they all did good. I think it's too bad [inaudible] want to get married, they should be able to. Everybody's supposed to be equal in equality in this country. Let gay people have the right to marry. Thank you​

 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Sorry, I didn't intend my comment to sound negative. It's a very nice speech, but what makes it buzz-worthy?
The fact that he's a vet, the father of a gay man, and that all his sons served in the military. The fact that he's standing there- talking about a subject that is very controversial and putting a face on that subject. The fact that he had the balls to take a stand, even though many in the military probably wish he hadn't.

That makes it buzz-worthy.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
Sorry, I didn't intend my comment to sound negative. It's a very nice speech, but what makes it buzz-worthy?

Because I bet 99% of 86 year old republicans are against gay marriage and this guy had the balls to speak out for it.
 

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
2,228
4
Pasadena CA
I think the four sons he's very proud of, have the right to be equally proud of him after that. Superb message, superbly delivered.

And if anyone disagrees with the message, may they rot in hell*



*a place that doesn't exist, but most who disagree with that message probably believe does.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
That's exactly right. How many people his age would have the guts to do this?
I spend a lot of time with the elderly and many of them feel this way and are upfront about it. That's why it didn't seem so unusual to me.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,063
Toronto, Ontario
I spend a lot of time with the elderly and many of them feel this way and are upfront about it. That's why it didn't seem so unusual to me.
Where are you located? This isn't the sentiment that I hear from old people. Around here they are basically weathering the storm and making sure nothing changes until they die. Then again most of the old people around here are the same ones who think society went downhill as soon as prayer was taken out of schools.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
Where are you located? This isn't the sentiment that I hear from old people. Around here they are basically weathering the storm and making sure nothing changes until they die. Then again most of the old people around here are the same ones who think society went downhill as soon as prayer was taken out of schools.
I have to admit that on a day-to-day basis I don't interact much with bigots. I try to avoid them.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Great speech. :)

I too was surprised, not because I think older people tend to be prejudiced but because they tend to oppose change more.
Exactly. If it's different, there tends to be a bit of resistance. My Dad is terrible about change. He's straight up told me that he just wants things to stay the same all the time. My mom is better, but getting less patient as well. I don't get it. I bore easily and am always looking forward to a change.