Connecticut veterans speak out against flag removal at Hampshire College

(WTNH)–Micah Welintukonis is a retired U.S Army Sergeant and a Purple Heart recipient.

“I’ve served in Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and the last one was Afghanistan,” said Welintukonis.

Welintukonis lives in Coventry and first became aware of the flag controversy at Hampshire College through members of the Amherst branch of the VFW. The controversy started when students lowered the flag to half-staff following this year’s presidential election. One day later it was burned and school officials ultimately decided not to have the flag on campus.

“What are we teaching our youth? We can’t just pick and choose which laws to follow. That’s not the wasy society is supposed to work,” said Welintukonis.

Last weekend Welintukonis was the key speaker at a peaceful protest in front of the Hampshire College campus. More than 400 veterans came to show their disappointment in the school’s decision.

“it reminded me of that sense of patriotism we had right after 9-11 where everybody was just united and it was extraordinary,” said Welintukonis.

This Sunday veterans will come together again for another peaceful protest. This time Welintukonis expects more than 1000 people to join in, both veterans and veteran supporters.

“These men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country, for our freedoms, they’re taken advantage. I know this is very important to them and I feel it’s part of my obligation as an American, as a citizen, to stand behind them,” said Jack Jurovati, a friend of Welintukonis.

Welintukonis doesn’t disagree with the students’ right to protest but says breaking laws and disrespecting those who fought to protect the symbol of freedom should not be tolerated.

“I think it’s truly disappointing that especially with our youth that they have further distanced themselves from patriotism,” said Welintukonis.


WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s