Since you left military service, you’ve held your hand over your heart during the playing of the National Anthem, during the Pledge of Allegiance, during the raising or lowering of the colors, or while the colors were passing by. You showed respect in this manner, because a military salute was reserved only for military personnel in uniform.
Now, thanks to a Congressional Amendment sponsored by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009, members of the armed forces and veterans present during such occasions, but not in uniform, may render a military salute.
Senator Inhofe has said that “Veterans and service members continue representing the military services even when not in uniform. The U.S. Code is now consistent for Veterans and all service members in regards to the symbolic gesture of the military salute.”
Thanks, Senator Inhofe. Much appreciated.