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Opinion >  Letters

Mask requirement not a big ask

As proprietor of a flag store, I am absolutely dumbfounded when chastised by patrons for requesting that they wear a mask when shopping, suggesting that such a request is un-American, or that relaxing the mandate for those who have been inoculated against COVID-19 as discriminatory.

Thankfully, most military veterans who commonly patronize my store acknowledge that we have been at war with this disease for some 15 months now and shots, social distancing and mask wearing are the only defensive weapons that have been available to us for doing battle with this invisible enemy. Whether you believe these are useful or not, taking these temporarily inconvenient precautions are, if nothing else, at least showing consideration for others.

When visiting other countries, military members are constantly reminded that we are American ambassadors and to conduct ourselves accordingly. Yet, too often in those foreign encounters I’ve witnessed the “ugly American” tourists who shamefully conduct themselves with total disregard for others and their local customs. The country I love and serve is a compassionate patron to all humanity – please don’t call me un-American for showing my respect and consideration for others by wearing a mask or extending special privileges to those who have received their shots.

Lance Johnson

Owner, Uncle Sam’s Flag & Gift


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