The #SuperBowl commercial #Veterans deserve and #Americans need to become united.

Recently the NFL decided against airing a commercial featuring a Veterans organization’s plea for everyone to stand for the National Anthem. Instead of debating the merits for the decision to produce the advertisement or the NFL’s decision, I wish to propose the following commercial. The underlying theme represents how different we all are, yet we choose to serve and support each other.

The commercial opens with a simple background of the American flag with a group of Service Members and Veterans in the center. Each is wearing a simple black shirt stating an aspect of themselves. The group would consist of:

  • I am Veteran
  • I am Military
  • I am Amputee
  • I am Blind
  • I am Deaf
  • I am Paralyzed
  • I am PTS
  • I am TBI
  • I am Suicide
  • I am Homeless
  • I am Gold Star
  • I am WWII
  • I am Korea
  • I am Vietnam
  • I am Gulf War
  • I am Post 9/11
  • I am Peacetime
  • I am Republican
  • I am Democrat
  • I am Independent
  • I am Christian
  • I am Muslim
  • I am Buddhist
  • I am Atheist
  • I am Jewish
  • I am Dreamer
  • I am Naturalized
  • I am Citizen
  • I am LGBTQ
  • I am Straight
  • I am Dependent
  • I am Caregiver
  • I am Stand
  • I am Sit

The camera would zoom in on each individual as they state what is on their shirt. The individual would first be glancing downwards and then raise their heads as they state their identifier. This admission represents how the public sees or the media portrays the wide variety of Veterans.

After going through each individual, the camera would pan out. The group would then state, “We are all Americans who believe in our service to the country and support and defend its ideals.”

Showcasing that it’s possible to be different yet unified, the camera will focus on individual groups of Veterans based on similarities of the identified aspects of themselves.

The group with service eras identified would say in unison, “we serve in different eras, we serve each other today.”

The group with disabilities identified would say in unison, “we face different challenges, we face them together.”

The group with political aspects identified would say in unison, “we may speak with different political voices, we support the right to express our differences.

The group with religious affiliations identified would say in unison, “we each walk different spiritual paths, we march together for religious freedom.”

The commercial would end with the group announcing, “we all serve this country despite our differences, and respect the positions we each take. We are all proud Americans.” The end will consist of a three second fade to black while the camera zooms out.

Our ability to be different yet unified needs to be the message the public receives. Far too long Veterans have been used as tools to cultivate public interest for a movement. The truth is Service Members, Veterans, and our families represent every aspect of what it means to be an American. We hail from all walks of life. Despite our differences, our service to America unifies us together. This commercial sends this message, and its what we need today.