Veteran Fighting Dementia Stands To Salute National Anthem During Football Game

A veteran battling dementia made his family beam with pride when he heard the national anthem of the United States on television and immediately stood up to salute. In the patriotic video, Joseph Black, 72, is seen standing to attention while saluting The Star-Spangled Banner, which was playing during an NFL game his family was watching. Joseph's son, Steve Edwards, 49, who lives in St Joseph, Missouri, and grandson Cameron had not expected the gesture from the 72-year-old. Steve pulled out his cellphone and recorded his dad, who stood throughout the entire performance on November 24, 2022. Joseph, who goes by ‘Gunny’, was a gunnery sergeant with the United States Marine Corp. for more than 25 years. He was deployed for two tours of Vietnam and "everything after that up until the Gulf War," Steve said, before retiring in 1998. Joseph coped well during his earlier years of retirement, Steve said, but in 2018 Joseph started getting sundowners and was diagnosed with dementia. Steve, who moved from California to Missouri to care for his dad, added watching his condition decline daily has been incredibly tough on the family, but seeing him remember to salute filled them with pride. *AUDIO FEATURES NATIONAL ANTHEM OF THE UNITED STATES PERFORMED DURING NEW YORK GIANTS @ DALLAS COWBOYS ON NOVEMBER 24 2022 - ADDITIONAL LICENSES MAY APPLY*