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When is it appropriate to use the Military Salute vs. Hand over Heart?

As veterans we have heard the debate time and time again of when you should salute and when you should place you hand over your heart. 

I hope to clear some of this up today and let you know why I have come to the understanding I have. 


In 2008 a new provision was added to the Flag Code pertaining to veterans and saluting during the national anthem.  It stated:

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Congratulations to Pennsylvania Department of Amvets on another successful State Convention. 

The 72nd Pennsylvania Department of Amvets State Convention was held this past weekend June 22 – 25, 2017 at the Crown Plaza Pittsburgh South in Bethel Park, PA.  McKeesport Amvets Post 8 held a great Beer Bash at their post on Thursday Night.  Their post was wonderful and everybody that attended had a great time. 

Department Commander Boyd “KC” Simpson, Ladies Auxiliary President E. Jean Lippincott, and Pennsylvania Department of Sons Commander John Wagner started the Convention on a positive note at the Joint Opening.   Thank you to Humana for the fantastic presentation on the Humana Warriors Closet Program. 

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Independence Day is the day we celebrate the courage of our founding fathers to stand up to opression.  These brave souls did what was thought to be the impossible.  This is the first day that democracy became the standard of which we are governed.  

May all Amvets and their families have a safe and healthy Fourth of July. 

ANNVILLE, Pa. – More than 440,000 veterans have had the veterans designation added to their Pennsylvania driver’s license or ID card since the option was made available in 2014, PennDOT said.

The designation is an American flag with the word “Veteran” beneath it.

“People flash their driver’s license or ID card more often than we think, which makes the veterans designation an ideal way for veterans to show others how proud they are to have served in the armed forces,” said Brig. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general in a news release.


Qualified applicants must have served in the U.S. military or its reserves. Further, they must not have been released from service with a dishonorable discharge.

There is no fee for the veterans designation. However, PennDOT said regular renewal or duplicate fees still apply.

Forms for driver’s license or ID renewals and duplicates have a box for applicants to certify they are a vet and to have the designation added. Once the designation has been added to the card, it will automatically appear each time the card is renewed.


Veterans holding a non-commercial driver’s license or identification card can immediately apply for the designation by visiting www.dmv.pa.gov and clicking on the American flag/veterans designation icon.

To renew a commercial driver’s license and add the designation, applicants must complete and mail in a DL-143CD form and applicable fees. To obtain a duplicate CDL with the veterans designation, applicants must complete and mail in a DL-80CD form and applicable fees.

The veterans designation does not entitle a veteran to any special consideration or discount. Rather, it identifies the bearer as a veteran.

(November 2016)

Leaders of AMVETS (American Veterans), a congressionally chartered veterans' service organization in the U.S., just completed their extended annual visit to Taiwan.

AMVETS National Commander Harold Chapman and AMVETS National Ladies Auxiliary President Evelyn R. McElvin were visiting at the invitation of the Minister of the R.O.C. Veterans Affairs Council (VAC) General Lee Hsiang-jow.

While in Taiwan, they paid a courtesy call on President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office.

President Tsai noted that AMVETS had been a strong supporter of Taiwan for over three decades, and that each year, leaders from the VAC and AMVETS exchanged information on veterans' affairs, national defense and foreign relations.

President Tsai thanked the visitors for the latest AMVETS National Resolution on Taiwan, in which AMVETS recognized that the R.O.C. on Taiwan was a long-time friend, ally and strategic partner of the U.S.

At a welcome dinner party, Minister Tung expressed his gratitude to AMVETS' continued support of Taiwan through its Resolutions at the AMVETS National Convention each year.

In return, Commander Chapman and President McElvin conveyed appreciation for their hospitality and noted that they were impressed with the dedication of the VAC in caring for the country's veterans.

Commander Chapman said that, in view of their long-standing relationship, AMVETS was happy to assist the VAC in any way possible.

Commander Chapman gave a speech on R.O.C. Veterans Day and received a medal from the VAC in honor of his dedication to veterans' affairs and the promotion of relations between U.S. and R.O.C. veterans.

During their visit, the AMVETS leaders were given a briefing on the operations of the VAC, which include health care, home care, vocational assistance, educational assistance, and services for R.O.C. veterans and their families.

They also visited the Veterans General Hospital, the VAC Taoyuan Training Center, the National Palace Museum, the Bade Veterans Home, the Suao Naval Base, as well as other cultural, economic and historic sites.

It is the stated position of AMVETS that Taiwan, as a strategically located island, is extremely important to the peace, prosperity, and stability of the Pacific Rim. The AMVETS resolution stated that the R.O.C. maintains a strong and well-trained military force, has extensive air and naval facilities and, therefore, is a vital link in the Pacific defense chain.

Consequently, AMVETS supports and encourages the democratic process in Taiwan, and encourages the U.S. president to promote peaceful dialogue and avoid any actions that could lead to military conflict.

AMVETS also supports the continued promotion of educational and cultural relationships and exchanges between the U.S. and R.O.C.

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