I Pledge Allegiance…

For 35 years, Jack Weber taught at Hannah Holbrook Elementary in Bountiful, UT. Mr. Weber was built like a brick wall, tolerated no mischief on the playground, and scared the hell out of me all the way through 5th grade.

My heart almost stopped in the summer of 1980 when, a few weeks before school started, I learned that Mr. Weber was going to be my 6th grade teacher. Today, kids whine to their parents about their teachers, but we didn’t play the victim back then so I sucked it up, went to school and hoped for the best.

That school day started like every school day since the first day of Kindergarten – by placing my hand over my heart and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Honestly, this tradition didn’t mean much to my young mind as I robotically recited the Pledge.

But on that first day of 6th grade, instead of the robotic and lackadaisical recitation I’d come to expect, I noticed Mr. Weber standing at perfect military attention as we recited the pledge. When we’d finished, the entire class could see that Mr. Weber was crying. I honestly didn’t know what to think, but the fear I’d felt towards this man evaporated instantly.

Jack Weber
7/29/1935 ~ 11/30/2015

Over the next hour, Mr. Weber introduced himself to the class. We learned that he was a veteran and that after serving an active duty tour, he was also in the National Guard. He explained that since he didn’t recite the Pledge at home over the summer, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance always brought him to tears for the first few days of every school year.

Every Monday morning, Mr. Weber would open the class with a free hour of Q & A. His willingness to answer our questions using lessons he’d learned throughout his military and non-military life taught us how to work through problems with our fellow students, taught us to detest bigotry, and taught us to love our country.

I’m sure there were also lessons on math, English, and science that year, but those take a backseat to the life lessons he taught us. He’s the first teacher I saw as a real person whom I loved and respected. I wish everyone could have Mr. Weber as his or her 6th grade teacher.

On a side note, Mr. Weber taught me it’s okay for a grown man to cry, which is something I’ve been doing a lot as I’ve written this piece.

Whenever I think, discuss, or write about politics, I think about Mr. Weber and ask myself how he would respond to a given debate. And every time, after you strip away the fluff, it all boils down to love for country, the Constitution, and what we’re willing to do to protect it.

I’ve written before about some of the horrible names I’ve been called for not supporting Donald Trump and his quasi-conservative agenda. I’ve actually been accused of treason for pointing out his flaws.

To those accusations, I respond with this:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

My allegiance is to the Republic. I will never pledge loyalty to any President or political party. The Republic.

One nation. Not a divided America. Not left vs. right. Not us vs. them. Indivisible.

My goal is liberty and justice for all. Not just for Trump supporters. Not just for those who agree with me. Everyone.

To those that call me a “traitor” because I won’t exercise blind fealty to Donald Trump, I’ll remind you of the immortal words of Inigo Montoya…

  “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”



Tom Milligan proudly opposes anyone who messes with the US Constitution, regardless of party affiliation. He is a pro-life, gun-toting conservative that supports the Convention of States and other measures to limit the size and power of the federal government.

Tom is the father of 4 great men and husband to an amazing wife. You can follow Tom on Twitter and Facebook.