By Todd Starnes
Jeff Andrulonis was broadcasting on WFAY in Fayetteville, North Carolina the day the twin towers fell – the day Muslim terrorists attacked our nation.
Jeff is the chairman of Colonial Media, a company that owns 17 radio stations in mostly small towns – like Fayetteville.
Not too long after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, Jeff decided to begin a new tradition. He directed all of his radio stations to play the Star-Spangled Banner every day at noon.
It’s a heart-felt tradition that continues to this day.
A few days ago Jeff read my column about how several members of the East Carolina University Marching Band desecrated the National Anthem on Oct. 1st.
Some members refused to play while others took a knee of the football field. Outraged fans pelted the band with a chorus of boos. Security was summoned to escort the band out of the stadium.
The band’s director later apologized – but the taxpayer-funded university’s chancellor defended the students.
And that made Jeff angry – especially seeing how he broadcast the ECU football games on WFAY in Fayetteville.
“We are a small station in a small town and quite a few of my team members at WFAY are Army wives and several of them have husbands who are currently overseas,” he said.
Fayetteville is home to Fort Bragg – known as one of the most military-friendly towns in the nation.
“It got me thinking about how local radio and local radio stations should be responsive to their local communities,” Jeff said.
So he decided the only proper response to the shameful behavior of the ECU Marching Band – was to yank the upcoming football game broadcast.
And that’s exactly what he did.
“I thought it was the right thing to do – to stand up for the National Anthem and the American flag,” he told me. “I’m proud of our country and I’m proud of our soldiers – especially our soldiers from Fort Bragg.”
And that’s why WFAY is protesting the protest.
He said it’s time for the youngsters in the marching band to learn a very important life lesson.
“They’re college students and it’s about time they get an education on the concept that their actions have consequences,” he said. “And the consequence in this case is that the ECU Pirates will not be heard on ESPN Fayetteville this weekend.”
Jeff said he’s received calls of support from around the nation – and also among his radio sponsors.
“So far, it has been unanimous,” he said. ‘Every sponsor I’ve talked to agrees that last weekend’s spectacle at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium was shameful and a message needs to be sent.”
Jeff Andrulonis and his team at Colonial Media are red-blooded American patriots and I hope that you click here to let these fine folks know how much you appreciate their decision to stand up for the Armed Forces of these great United States.
And let’s hope other broadcasters across the fruited plain have the courage and patriotism to do the same thing.