About the author
James S. Hendon, whose letter appeared Oct. 5, has been selected last month's Golden Pen Award winner. In the judgment of the editors, he had the most effective letter in October.
Hendon, 61, is a native of Arkansas. He has lived in Fort Wayne since his 1981 discharge from the Air Force. His wife, whom he met while in the service, is a city native. They raised two sons and have three grandchildren. For eight years Hendon was a service station manager; since 1989 he has worked for Edy's Grand Ice Cream. His current position involves working in pre-production in the mixing department – receiving dairy product and sweeteners, and overseeing homogenization and pasteurization.
The approach of Veterans Day was a factor in Hendon's decision to weigh in on the ongoing NFL protests, as was his passionate belief in the principles that undergird our democracy.
“You can't have a few people making decisions for everybody,” he said.
Hendon received a gold-plated inscribed pen for his efforts. The Golden Pen Award was established to express our appreciation for the contributions our letter writers make to the editorial page.
Protest keeps US vital
I was an American fighting man. I was prepared to give my life. I served in the Air Force for almost eight years. I am a decorated Vietnam-era veteran.
Stand, sit, lie down, kneel, whatever. Americans can do whatever they want during our national anthem. For hundreds of years, Americans have fought and died defending the right to protest and not face a firing squad because they did so. Demanding someone take away their livelihood, their means of providing for their families, and condemning them for protesting is wrong. We are Americans. We are free.
Shout, protest, keep our government from taking away our basic freedoms.