Nearly 500 veterans and active duty soldiers marched through the streets of Washington, DC on Monday to show their support for presidential candidate Ron Paul. Men and women traveled from across the country to be part of the historic march.
One soldier, 26, traveled alone, all the way from Alaska to participate. He asked that he remain anonymous, as he was breaking military directives by attending. The soldier from Alaska said that the march was "humbling and powerful" and definitely worth the risk. He told Examiner, "I shared some emotional moments with my brothers and sisters in arms. All in all, it was an amazing day."
I decided to support Ron Paul during the 2008 campaign while I was still deployed in Afghanistan. I started asking questions after witnessing so many injustices occur there.
Not only is Ron Paul the only veteran remaining in the race, he understands that our foreign policy is deeply flawed. Pretending that occupying other countries won't have some repercussions is absolutely ignorant. The fact of the matter is we create more enemies than we can kill.
As reported in a previous article, Ron Paul has overwhelmingly won the support of the troops, if campaign donations are any indication. Many Paul supporters say it is a fact that the media does not pay enough attention to.
Zak Carter, an Army veteran, said that one of the reasons he wanted to attend the march was because the media had done such a poor job reporting on the military support Paul receives. Carter said he believed a visual demonstration of their support would help change that.
Not unexpectedly, the mainstream media also largely neglected to report on the "Ron Paul is the Choice of the Troops" march in DC. One of the few videos about the event was made by RT, a Russian media outlet. One ABC article listed the march as having "dozens" of troops marching. After outrage in the comments, "dozens" was changed to "several hundred." NBC was at the event recording, but never aired the footage.
Cox and others argue that 500 veterans who gather from across the country to show support for a presidential candidate is newsworthy, and many were disappointed that more people were not able to experience the powerful event.
Despite the lack of coverage, Nathan Cox, co-founder of Veterans for Ron Paul and one of the march's organizers said that the event was a complete success, and it overwhelmed those who witnessed it and participated in it. He told Examiner,
To see and hear a battalion size element march through the streets chanting, "End the wars! End the Fed! President Paul! and Ron Paul Revolution, Legalize the Constitution!" brought chills to my skin and tear drops to my eyes. To see the people on the sidewalks and streets in DC freeze, take pictures, cheer, honk their horns, and even get out of their cars and jump up and down to support the troops...WOW. It blew my mind.
Cox, a veteran of the Iraq War, told Examiner that one of the highlights for him was the ceremony that took place outside of the White House. The 500 troops stood in formation in front of the White House and then did an "about face" and turned their backs to the White House in a symbolic gesture that displayed their disdain for President Obama breaking his oath of office, which is the same oath all servicemen take, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The veterans were told to render a salute and hold it for as many seconds as there have been active duty soldiers that have committed suicide while Obama has been in office. The salute lasted nearly 10 minutes, Cox said. They then bowed their heads in silent prayer for as many seconds as members of the military have died overseas while Obama has been Commander-in-Chief, which Cox said was almost 30 minutes.
During the ceremony (as seen in the video to the left), a pair of soldiers held a flag with words Martin Luther King spake in opposition to the Vietnam War, warning against America's arrogance overseas. King said,
I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. The book may close. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God."
Immediately following the event, many wondered what the official head count was. Cox estimated there were between 3 to 5 thousand in attendance. As people speculated the number, one person, Sean White, wrote on Facebook, "You forgot the 5 thousand who gave their lives in the last 10 years that were there in spirit."
The soldiers who support Ron Paul say that he is the only candidate who will work for peace and bring an end to wars that have cost too much, in both lives and money.
The soldier serving in Alaska hopes people will wake up. He told Examiner,
If the American people are ready to go into another country, into another unconstitutional war, then sign on the dotted line and find out for yourself what war is really like. Your drums of war will be drowned out by the cries of those who pay the ultimate sacrifice and their families they leave behind.
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