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Aaron Rodgers calling on fans to unite

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' call for fans to link arms during Thursday night game is a challenging issue for some veterans. Many are big Packers fans and they did not necessarily want to get involved with the discussion about the NFL and the national anthem.

 On Tuesday John Genz - a veteran - walked with his young son back to the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. He served from 2004 to 2009. He says he has PTSD and he still feels pain from his injuries.

 "A bullet actually struck me in here, shattering my chest bone," Genz said.

"I wasn't able to pick [my son] up and hold him like a regular father should," Genz said.

Growing up in Oshkosh, Genz said he watched the Packers, but Aaron Rodgers' recent call for action during the national anthem is difficult for him.

"I think it's disrespectful. Extremely disrespectful. I mean, how many men and women have died - sacrificed arms, legs for a flag," Genz said.

Rodgers' call for unity is an evolution of Colin Kaepernick's protest last year -  taking a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness of situations when young black men were killed by police.

Other veterans - including Tim Richards outside of Veterans Manor - say President Donald Trump villianized Kaepernick and misconstrued his message.

"What he said and what the man did - taking a knee, is it the same? You know, I don't think so," Richards said.

Albert M. Holmes - a U.S. Airforce Veteran and former Vice President of the Center for Veterans Issues - had this to say:

"They're not disrespecting the flag. They're not disrespecting the country. They're not disrespecting anyone. They're voicing their right to have their own opinion about situations," Holmes said. 

A local American Legion also says they do not agree with Aaron Rodgers' call to link arms in unity. They say the proper way is to stand during the anthem and not distract from the ceremony. 

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (CBS 58) – Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is planning to ask fans to show solidarity during the national anthem at Thursday night’s game against the Bears 

Aaron Rodgers on Packers' demonstration during national anthem from CBS 58 News on Vimeo.

At last Sunday’s game against the Bengals, several players locked arms, with three Packers choosing to sit during the national anthem.

The Packers host the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. The game will air on CBS 58 with kickoff at 7:25 p.m.


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