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Old 02-06-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
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Question about Military propriety

First of all, the back story:

My Grandfather, retired (now deceased) Master Sergeant Raymond Penda was a Bataan Death March survivor, 4 year POW and Korean War Veteran.

In the years I knew him, he was battered (not broken) having suffered numerous strokes and heart attacks attributed to the hardships he endured in prison camps. He was disabled for as long as I knew him; paralyzed on the left side (although his right hand would CRUSH yours...don't challenge him). It did not stop him from hooking up a travel trailer and taking my brother and I (and Grandma!) camping at Disney World or Jellystone Park for weeks on end in Florida when we were kids. I absolutely adored him growing up. He taught me to play Solitare (and let me cheat so I could win). I feel a deep attachment to him unlike anyone else (aside from my own Father....I'm such a Daddy's girl).

It wasn't until after he passed that I learned about Bataan and all the other stuff. He never talked about it and nobody talked about it with me. I've researched it all extensively over the years. Learning that stuff has made me feel even closer to him although he is gone.

Now, my question. Geez, after writing that stuff it almost seems silly, but part of the pride of owning a Wrangler for me is it's military history and I was thinking about commemorating my Grandfather with 2 decals on my Jeep. I really love the black US flag decal, see below. I was thinking of customizing it with my Grandfathers Service Number below the flag on one side, and his Squad name on the other.

I need to know if doing this is in ANY WAY BAD FORM? You know what they say about good intentions. Maybe it seems silly, but the last thing I want to do is disrespect other Bataan Survivors or POW's or MIA's or any Military "Code" I may not be aware of.


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Old 02-06-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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As a 26-year veteran of the Air Force, I personally think it would be a cool tribute to an American hero.

I've done mine as a tribute to my father who was an Army Air Corps vet.
Here's my Jeep:

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Old 02-06-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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My grandfather was a WWII vet also, who passed a short while ago. I don't think you would be doing a diservice to his (your grandfather's) memory or to any of the other vets by displaying that on your Jeep. (I was thinking of doing the something similar.) Just my .02.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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I remember one thread in the past about a guy wanting to decal his TJ with army stickers, and asked for some vets opinions, as far as I can recall, they were very supportive of him. I will let the vets speak though.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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I don't see anything wrong with what you're doing. The tattoo on my right shoulder is my grandfather's unit patch from WWII. He was in tank destroyers in the ETO and fought from December '44 to the end of the war. I was lucky several years ago on one deployment to be able to travel down the same roads he had 70 years before. It was a thrilling experience.

My grandfather didn't tell me much about his service until I came home from my second deployment (Germany). I was lucky, of all the grandchildren he had, I got was given his old uniforms. I didn't get the ribbon racks or anything, but I'm assembling those based on his service record...although it is somewhat incomplete and was a victim of the Army records building fire back in the 70's.

One more thing, pertaining to the above post...I don't think any vets mind promotion of the military, provided you don't knowingly misrepresent what you or someone associated with you did. Just think code of honor.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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I'm a Vietnam vetran, and for what it's worth you have my approval. Sounds like a good tribute to your grandfather.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Your pic of the decals shows one flag reversed. I would just check on the etiquette of that, the rest sounds like a fine way to honor your grandfather.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #8
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Your pic of the decals shows one flag reversed. I would just check on the etiquette of that, the rest sounds like a fine way to honor your grandfather.
On anything that moves, the field should be to the front as if it is going into battle (think running with a flag on a flag pole).
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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I come from a family that has a long history in the military. My grandfather was in the Navy and was in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th. Fought in the Pacific. He was also in Korea ( which he never would talk about, and he loved telling stories). My uncle was in the Army and fought in Vietnam and Desert Storm/ Shield. I served in the Marine Corp and was in Desert Shield/ Storm. Your idea of honoring your grandfather is not disrespectful in anyway. I understand your closeness with your grandfather. To me my grandfather was the greatest man to walk on this planet, other than Jesus. Be proud of what your planning. I can see that you feel the same. You'll always find some people that will be offended ( I promise, not that many), but don't let it stop you.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:58 PM   #10
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On anything that moves, the field should be to the front as if it is going into battle (think running with a flag on a flag pole).
I believe the picture of the decals posted are one for each side of the Jeep. In which case, the field would be facing forward on both.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #11
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I believe the picture of the decals posted are one for each side of the Jeep. In which case, the field would be facing forward on both.
Yup...it's adhering to etiquette.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:02 PM   #12
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On anything that moves, the field should be to the front as if it is going into battle (think running with a flag on a flag pole).
As a disabled Vet, I believe he would be honored and any Vet seeing what you intend would be happy to see it. To re-iterate the quote above, "The Union always comes first." That's why they are facing oposite directions, one for each side. That is really the main etiquette you need to be concerned about. That and, no other flag should be at a higher level.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:02 PM   #13
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I don't think it would be an issue. His service number wasn't his SSN in that day and age. I think it would be a great way to honor him.

The blue should be to the left as you look at it. Other than that, you're good to go.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:09 PM   #14
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As a disabled Vet, I believe he would be honored and any Vet seeing what you intend would be happy to see it. To re-iterate the quote above, "The Union always comes first." That's why they are facing oposite directions, one for each side. That is really the main etiquette you need to be concerned about. That and, no other flag should be at a higher level.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:19 PM   #15
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On anything that moves, the field should be to the front as if it is going into battle (think running with a flag on a flag pole).
Thanks. Always wondered about that.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:23 PM   #16
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Don't forget to post a pic once they're on.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:34 PM   #17
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as a iraq / afgan war vet (served six years) thier is noting wrong with that at all, look up the history of the "apposing flags" stick just so you know its history.. as long as you dont bare rank you are fine and im sure your gradfather would be proud
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:50 PM   #18
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I'm in the service and have the exact same flags, union first, where the "wrangler" and "sport" stickers once were. Sounds like an awesome tribute to me.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:05 AM   #19
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Cool. Thanks for the info guys. I am definitely aware of the Union always coming first etiquette. Anyone that questions which way it should face need only look at Air Force One:



I wasn't really aware of the higher/larger etiquette, though, so thanks for that info.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:06 AM   #20
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as a iraq / afgan war vet (served six years) thier is noting wrong with that at all, look up the history of the "apposing flags" stick just so you know its history.. as long as you dont bare rank you are fine and im sure your gradfather would be proud
I don't know what that means. Does it mean I shouldn't show his rank/stripes in the design?
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:30 AM   #21
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I was reading another thread and it looks like some people take issue with the black/white design of the flag - that it's not showing our colors. I personally like the black/white because, to me, it's a nice blend of the US flag and POW/MIA flag. So, in my use, the black/white flag would be representing my grandfather's years as a POW.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:32 AM   #22
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Geez, another question - how to display his service number. On the documents I have found, it's just listed: 11017337

But through searches I've done, it looks like the military actually displays them with dashes: 11-017-337

Any input into which way I should do it?
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:37 AM   #23
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Display it how the military would.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:40 AM   #24
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I'm a Vietnam vetran, and for what it's worth you have my approval. Sounds like a good tribute to your grandfather.
It's worth a lot to have your approval.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:45 AM   #25
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I was reading another thread and it looks like some people take issue with the black/white design of the flag
I found nothing in the "flag code" (Flag Code | The American Legion) that prohibits black/white depictions of the flag. That said, I knew some guys in a combat zone that wished to replace the flag patch on their uniform with a bi-color, subdued, tactical-color flag (the same color as other patches the Army wears). They were told to remove those flags and replace them with full-color flags. I'm not sure that represents any official stance, however.

I think it would be cool if you displayed reminders of your grandfather's military legacy. Go for it!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #26
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Hey all, I found an interesting tidbit (here: How is a flag decal to be displayed on a motor vehicle? | The American Legion) regarding the placement of flags on vehicles. The blue union can either be placed forward (in the direction of motion, as has been explained in this thread), OR to the upper left, regardless of the direction of motion. So, either orientation is technically correct and appropriate.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:15 AM   #27
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Thumbs up I say put them on

anybody who says otherwise without knowing their true meaning is just wrong. I think it's a great tribute to your grandfather.

This will be a great conversation starter, too.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:35 AM   #28
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The subdued flag is fine. Or it would not of been ISSUED to me for my uniform.

However, they are only authorized in certain "deployed" locations / events.

But you are fine with using them on you Jeep ma'am.

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Old 02-07-2012, 11:43 AM   #29
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The subdued flag is fine. Or it would not of been ISSUED to me for my uniform.
Interesting. I'm guessing it's a command decision. They wouldn't let us wear them at the time, even while in forward locations.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #30
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Interesting. I'm guessing it's a command decision. They wouldn't let us wear them at the time, even while in forward locations.
Yes, commanders decision and also depends on your MOS/AFSC/ "job".

Most members that do not leave the wire are not permitted to use them most of the time.

"I don't want shiny colors on me when I don't want seen".

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