86 Year Old, Life-long Republican and WWII Vet on Gay Marriage- “What Do You Think I Fought For?”

Posted by Audiegrl

votenoon1maineIn this poignant video below, 86 year old Philip Spooner, who is a life long resident of Maine and a Republican, speaks out on the reason we need marriage equality in this country. The fight for marriage equality in Maine is coming up in two weeks. If the “No on 1” campaign is successful, Maine will become the first state in the nation to successfully defend marriage equality in the voting booth.

Get this video out to as many people as you can.

Transcript: Good morning, Committee. My name is Phillip Spooner and I live at 5 Graham Street in Biddeford. I am 86 years old and a lifetime Republican and an active VFW chaplain. I still serve three hospitals and two nursing homes and I also serve Meals on Wheels for 28 years. My wife of 54 years, Jenny, died in 1997. Together we had four children, including the one gay son. All four of our boys were in the service. I was born on a potato farm north of Caribou and Perham, where I was raised to believe that all men are created equal and I’ve never forgotten that. I served in the U.S. Army, 1942-1945, in the First Army, as a medic and an ambulance driver. I worked with every outfit over there, including Patton’s Third Army. I saw action in all five major battles in Europe, and including the Battle of the Bulge. My unit was awarded Presidential Citations for transporting more patients with fewer accidents than any other ambulance unit I was in the liberation of Paris. After the war I carried POW’s back from Poland, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, and also hauled hundreds of injured Germans back to Germany.

I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, “Do you believe in equal, equality for gay and lesbian people?” I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, “What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?” I haven’t seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice. For what? For freedom and equality. These are the values that give America a great nation, one worth dying for.

I give talks to eighth grade teachers about World War II, and I don’t tell them about the horror. Maybe [inaudible] ovens of Buchenwald and Dachau. I’ve seen with my own eyes the consequences of caste systems and it make some people less than others, or second class. Never again. We must have equal rights for everyone. It’s what this country was started for. It takes all kinds of people to make a world war. It does make no sense that some people who love each other can marry and others can’t just because of who they are. This is what we fought for in World War II. That idea that we can be different and still be equal.

My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have a certain set of rights, but our gay child would be left out. We raised them all to be hard-working, proud, and loyal Americans and they all did good. I think it’s too bad those who want to get married, they should be able to. Everybody’s supposed to be equal in equality in this country. Let gay people have the right to marry. Thank you

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13 Comments

Filed under Democrats, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Law, Politics, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues

13 responses to “86 Year Old, Life-long Republican and WWII Vet on Gay Marriage- “What Do You Think I Fought For?”

  1. I salute you Mr. Spooner, values for some and not all are not worth much.

    • audiegrl

      This video brought me to tears.

      This courageous gentleman needs to be the face of the marriage equality campaign in Maine (and everywhere else IMHO)

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  3. andrew

    I’m so glad this was posted. It’s good to dispel the notion that the older, republican generation can’t understand gay marriage. They can and they do. What an inspiring gentleman.

    • Richard McCarthy

      I am 67 years old. My cousin was 6 months older. I am Canadian, he was an American.
      He was a gay man.
      He volunteered for 2 tours of Vietman during that conflict, and served his country proudly. This gay man deserve to be fully recognized as a soldier and a citizen.
      Every gay person is a citizen of his or her country and deserves full rights as such.

    • audiegrl

      Mr. Spooner was incredible. I hope everyone gets to see this video.

  4. AmericanNinjaX

    Just and fyi, in the “Presidential Citations for transporting more patients with fewer accidents than any other [inaudible] I was in the liberation of Paris”

    part he says “ambulance unit”.

    Also in the part “I think it’s too bad [inaudible] want to get married, they should be able to.”

    He says “I think it’s too bad those who want to get married…”

    Just wanted to make sure every part of this awesome speech is heard.

    • audiegrl

      Thanks so much AmericanNinjaX, 🙂

      I have added the correct wording to the speech. Please let me know if you figure out what was in this sentence

      Maybe [inaudible] ovens of Buchenwald and Dachau.

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  8. Jenna

    I salute you, Mr. Spooner…
    Your courage and commitment will hopefully pave the way for gays.

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