Blue Suede Connection

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Patriotic Elvis

When I think back over Elvis’ life, there are reoccurring words, like doting father, faithful friend, loving son, believer, but Patriotic is one big word that I hear over and over. He loved his country, felt it, and it’s people, had given him the biggest blessing in life—his livelihood. He loved the USA so much, he paid his taxes in full, never once acquiring a CPA to cut what he felt he owed.

Some would laugh at this fact, calling him hillbilly, country, unintelligent, but Elvis was none of these things. He was a smart man with strong belief in God and Country.

 Let's just look at a few facts:                

Elvis received his draft papers over the week of Christmas of 1957. He was finally on top and now Uncle Sam was calling. There was no war, no real reason for the need of the draft. He could have fought it, ran from it, or just simply lawyered up. But not Elvis. He went. And not only did he go, he refused any soft cushy job the Army tried to give him. If he was going, he was going for real, he said.

Taking a Las Vegas stage in Jan of 1972, with the Vietnam war still raging, Elvis belted out "American Trilogy," from the stage. Written by country composer, Mickey Newbury, Elvis was touched by the mix of three controversial subjects--a confederate anthem, a black spiritual, and a gospel hymn--finally coming together in one song. From that point on, no matter what part of the country Elvis played in, north or south, he played this song with pride. And it remains a fan favorite to this day.

And finally, on of my favorite displays of Elvis' patriotic heart, came when Elvis had a chance to sing in front of over a Billion people for the Aloha Satellite concert in 1973, and what outfit did he choose to proudly display? The American Eagle jumpsuit! Overshadowing the US Super Bowl, which aired that same day, Elvis strutted around in front of the world with his flag on his back, in what cannot be argued as the biggest display of support for his country by any entertainer, to date!

As an Elvis fan, I'm so proud that our guy wasn't afraid to show how much he loved his country to the world. And I can't help but wonder what he'd think of all the unrest in our country today? I believe it would bring him great sadness

So wherever you are today, remember, no matter our strife, we are a great country! We haven't always been perfect, but we are truly blessed. We haven't always agreed but we have always come out better for having listened to one another. 

If in the middle of the Vietnam tragedy Elvis can take a stage with the American Flag on his back, we can all raise our heads today--celebrate being an American!!

Be safe this holiday! And know we love ya!

Patricia Garber

Below: Elvis and his roman candle fights! Don't be ELVIS!

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