We’ve All Had a Latte Salute

I recall an incident a few years ago at work: a colleague/friend spoke to me in the hallway, one that wasn’t noisy or crowded at the time. Not only did she say “hi” to me, but she also gave me a compliment…and I COMPLETELY disregarded all of it. Not one of her words even registered. To this day, I’m grateful that she later approached me about it and didn’t hold it against me. She asked if everything was ok, if I was upset with her. I apologized profusely, because I was simply not present. I felt terrible about it, and I really couldn’t believe I could’ve been so distracted with my own thoughts, that I actually did not hear her talking to me!

That was my Latte Salute.

I’m not interested in political debates; I never have been. But I think the reaction to this video of President Obama’s “latte salute” is being blown way out of proportion. I happen to be a member of a family with several people who have proudly served our country, so I’m just as offended as the next person when I feel that a service member has been disrespected. And admittedly, when I initially saw the video clip, I did think, “Oh, no. Come on, dude. Not good.”

But not too long after having that thought–and after I started seeing the plethora of hateful comments–I also thought about the countless video clips we’ve seen of him stepping off of Air Force One giving a proper salute. So how fair (or even accurate) is it of so many people to go touting off about how disrespectful he is of our service men and women? My guess is that he may have been a little distracted; he did just launch airstrikes in Syria, but what do I know? Perhaps he just happened to be holding his cup in his right hand and remembered to salute at the last minute and didn’t want to be completely disrespectful by not saluting at all. Perhaps he was distracted by whatever was going on to his right, off camera. Perhaps he was mentally focused on his next destination.

Perhaps he’s human and didn’t behave perfectly.

I’m not a blind supporter of President Obama; he’s obviously made some not-so-great decisions as President (as did all 43 of the others), but good grief! Is this one we need to make such a huge deal about, especially when he’s appropriately performed this very same act countless times in the past 6 years? Do you have a check in your box under “Perfection”?

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