SEE IT: Vet and former Playboy model Michelle Manhart scuffles with cops while trying to recover trampled American flag (WARNING
Drill Sergeant Who Posed Naked for Playboy Removed From Active Military Duty
American vet and Playboy model Michelle Manhart arrested for taking American flag from protestors
Former airman who posed for Playboy bares it all to help wounded troops
I was an editor of Playboy for 13 years, and during that time I witnessed this very same cultural burlesque so often it almost became boring: Woman with high-profile job poses in Playboy; employer goes bananas and fires her; model becomes martyr for girlie mags everywhere; Playboy sells out at newsstand.
Last week, Staff Sergeant Michelle Manhart of Lackland Air Force Base in Texas debuted in the pages of Playboy magazine.
Granted, Manhart's decision to doff her fatigues for Hugh Hefner's photographers is a peculiar way of expressing her patriotism, and we can only be grateful that not every member of the military has done likewise.
What you may not have heard about, though, is her own history of flag desecration.
Picture Norman Schwarzkopf in a teddy.
Campus police try to convince her to drop the flag, but Manhart, a former training sergeant who served in Kuwait, refuses.
A last month revealed that morale among American service men and women plummeted in 2006, with only 50 percent feeling optimistic about the war in Iraq down from 83 percent in 2004.
As the Supreme Court has held, one of those things is the right to free speech, which includes the right to disrespect even the symbol of our country.