A condo association in Enfield, Conn., is reportedly threatening to fine a Vietnam veteran for flying a Navy flag, asserting the banner does not meet community requirements.
Joe Allen served in a Navy minesweeping squadron for six years, and when he finally returned home, he was in rough shape. “I came home with my [posttraumatic stress disorder] PTSD, and I was diagnosed with severe PTSD, anxiety, depression, and anybody that knows anything about PTSD, it’s a never-ending video seven days a week, 365 days a year,” Allen told WFSB Channel 3.
The flag comforts him, Allen asserts.
“It’s comforting to me to be able to come up in the morning, see my flag, besides the American flag, but this is where I served, I served in the Navy,” he said. “It’s a symbol of me serving my time, for the freedom that we live with and it also reminds me that I made it home.” He has had the flag flying outside his home for about one year.
The condo association, which only allows residents to hang the American flag or decorative, holiday, or seasonal flags, suddenly decided that his military flag is unacceptable, Allen explained. The association will allegedly fine him $25 day for every day his flag is outside.
“To me it’s ludicrous, I’ll be point blank, it’s ludicrous, it’s just un-American for Americans, so to speak to do that to me,” Allen told reporters. “We got hurt, we did our job, they’re sitting here fat and happy, so to speak, and enjoying the freedom, and they pick on somebody that really tries to conform to all of the rules that they come up with.”
Allen has a hearing set for November to defend the right to hang the flag.
A similar incident occurred in August in Florida, when Retired U.S. Navy Officer John Ackert fought his homeowners’ association to keep his mailbox decorated with an American flag pattern. The association was bullying him, adding that “people should stand up to bullying of any form,” he claimed.
Ackert, who reportedly served in Vietnam and was a career military man, won his dispute with the association.
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