Election Roundtable: What Military Veterans Want In A President

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From NPR WB, you are Boston I'm Talker Bardy, this is on point from now until the election, we are holding a weekly series of voter roundtables to listen to Americans talk through their hopes for their country. Over the next four years. Today, we'll be hearing from veterans of the United States military. What do they want in a commander in chief? My name is Jeffrey Cornet I live in Summerville South Carolina I am seventy one years old. Vietnam. Era Veteran. In the Navy I would want a president who is highly intelligent has high moral standards and ethics names, Eric Broadbent from North Hampton Mass I was in the military in the US Navy for four years. What I learned was you need to work together with other people even though they may be very different from you to achieve the mission and to achieve every everyone safety. And that would be a very important thing for leaders. Now to recognize my name is Earl Linda Lavin's I live just outside of San Antonio Texas. I think that one of the foremost qualities in a leader should be honor. Just a few of the many messages we received from veterans when we put out the call that we were going to be doing this hour today and throughout the show, you'll hear more of those messages. But now let me introduce our three live guests today. Bob killebrew joins us from Newport. News Virginia. Welcome to the program Bob. Thank you Mike I'm happy to be here. I wonder if you could just tell us a little bit about. What branch you served in how long you you served in the military. While I'm a retired army colonel sort of two tours in Vietnam. My service was mostly around Fort Bragg or more core, the second airborne division, and I retired after thirty years of service. Thank you so much for being with us today also with us from Union township in Clermont. County Ohio is. Michael. Michael Welcome to you. I thank you for having me. What if you could do the same? Tell us a little bit about about where you served. And the length of your service and what branch you're. Is Served. In the Marine Corps with women company. Third Battalion Twenty Fifth Marine Data Columbus Ohio We. For me it was just six months out of high school back in two thousand and five. We're one most combat and good units in the Iraq war We'll talk about that A. Little later in the show today but our efforts in the Al Anbar province took voter turnout from very low levels. It's a very high levels and for me personally I believe that service should should never truly end and since my return from Iraq have done everything they can to help my fellow veterans and use my skills continue to thunder nation and do what I can to improve our community so. Calm paper honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in two thousand and eleven And Will turn back over to you for our introduction. Thank you. Well, thank you so much for for taking the time to be with us today, and we've got one more voice joining us today from Virginia Beach Virginia Daniel Anderson joins, US, Daniel Welcome to you. Thank you. MAGNA, I'm happy to be here and same thing. Tell us a little bit about your service. Yes I served five and a half years in the navy as a surface warfare officer onboard two guided missile cruisers out of Norfolk Virginia. And I resigned my commission in two thousand and eighteen? And I see here that you're also. Chief strategist at the black veterans project as well. Yes can you tell us a little bit about that? Yes. So it is a nonprofit I started by two veterans. He End, it has a bifurcated mission one of which is to to increase visibility for you know black veterans and to. Advocate. For The continued. Gathering Information and. Other things to help us understand what exactly the challenges are facing black veterans as well as active duty servicemembers in the second half of the mission is actually to. Put together what we call a digital monument. In service black veterans telling the stories. Of, black veterans that have sort of fallen by the wayside. Well, so I a throughout this hour encouraged the three of you to just get in conversation with each other here and just get started by with one simple question. What is it that you believe are the key or most essential qualities? In a commander in the commander in chief and just to get started bobble alternative you what would be your answer to that question I. Think I think the to qualities override everything else? Is, character and intellect. He or she has to be. Sound morally. They have to have character that can stand up under the heat of fight and all office, and they've got to have enough intellect to grasp the issues that are not only in front of them, but that are going to be coming to warn him. In that office. Michael. Commander, in chief you know. You're the top you're the head of the military there so You need to ensure the tools and resources are available for the forces that. Regardless. When you go to war, you go war with what you have not what you want I definitely experienced that in two thousand five going to war with generation one home ds and sitting on sandbags and Vietnam era flak jackets and and then our unit also ban and aluminum assault vehicles where hundred and four of our Marines deployed twenty three were killed another thirty seven wounded from a very significant ideas time. In retrospect you look at that and you see that's where we were left with. budget cuts during the ninety s under the Clinton administration you know we didn't have the ability to modernize. So the tools and resources when they were needed for not they're made available You know one thing that scene from the commander in chief to looking at that in our current state two, thousand, eighteen, we had our national defense strategy for the first time in over A. Decade and that gave the military community and ability to unite under something and step off in those directions to to really unify together you know and when something like a document and a significant as national fencer, he's not updated it in over a decade that significant though to me, it's about having the tools and resources and being able to push that level of authority down to the lowest level. So Daniel you heard Bob talk about character and intellect Michael was emphasizing tools and resources. What do you think would be in your view the most essential qualities of commander-in-chief. Yeah magnetic. There are two things that I'm looking for a commander in chief and president. One of which is accountability. We don't have anything if we don't have a president who is accountable for their actions I'm. Not. Naive to think that I'm going to agree with everything in every policy decision that a president makes like any other leader but they have to be accountable to the office and to the people that put him there or I really fear for our democracy and the second thing is is the president in the commander-in-chief who prioritize human rights you understand that it's not a political ploy. or a partisan issue. And understands that what? No matter what we're talking about whether it's ice detainees whether it's healthcare policing. All of these things are really human rights So here's the question someone is going to be the commander in chief. After November, it might continue to be a donald trump. It might be Joe Biden. So let me just throw it open to all of you and just jump in and talk with each other who. Who Do you think possesses or best possesses these qualities that you all just described. I'll. Start. I I I've always been a little leery about the idea that that. All of our defense capability is wrapped up in the defense budget. Actually I think national defense depends on a lot of things one of which is an adequate budget. But one of which is also strategy real strategy not just the one that's auto penned in the basement of the Pentagon. And an appreciation for the streets of allies. And what our ally is can do for us what what we are constrained from doing because of our alliances. The present president has has done the auto pin and the White House basement routine, but as destroyed alliances overseas has not contributed to national solidarity or strength of purpose at all. And so I, WANNA president who comes in with an understanding of what real strategy is. Real defense preparedness is and who looks out not only for the troops. But for the circumstances, he puts the troops into. Bob Is Michael here. That's that's an area that I'd have to respectfully disagree with on on the auto auto dependent on the National Defense Strategy I. Mean There's very first time it'd been updated in over a decade that happened under president trump's administration two, thousand eighteen, and it had a main focus on our strength and our allies and supporting our allies and on and actually looking at the fact that the bureaucracy and bureaucratic red tape had delayed weapon system deployment to an average of ten to twelve years for our country whereas. Near peers, adversaries like China and Russia or five to six years for deploying and that to to your point that is outside just the national defense strategy it's it's things like our intellectual property technology. You know what we've been seeing from China stealing and taking that those research and development dollars and just being able to copy and take weapon systems, and that is something that you know from a foreign policy standpoint. It's been refreshing to see a strong stance on something like China I in that in that atmosphere, you know so From the National Defense Strategy, it's the two thousand, eight team. National Strategy has been something that gave the military a common method to step off and for all leadership to unite around and and take and take direction, and again, getting the resources and tools and the authority pushed to their lower level I. Mean I can't can't help. But think you talked with mark guys ause the other day he was thirteen hours in Benghazi. And What was left? For. Those men and women and not having the tools and resources at their support and to have an ambassador killed in the street. It's heart wrenching. On here for just a second I'm Bob Hang on. I want to hear your answer to my question about who best embodies the characteristics that you want to see in a commander in chief, but we just have to take a quick break hanging here for just a second Danielle. We are listening to veterans of the United States military it's our latest in our weekly round tables listening to American voters about what their hopes and dreams are for this country. Over the next four years, we'll have a lot more when we come back this is on point. This is on point I'm we are listening to veterans of the United States, military today. It's our latest in our weekly series of voter roundtables where we're asking Americans to talk with each other about what they want for this country for the next four years I'm joined today by Bob. killebrew. He's with us from Newport News Virginia. He's a retired army colonel he served in. Vietnam. Michael Logo also joins us. He's a he served in Iraq with the Third Battalion Twenty Fifth Marines joining us from Union township in Clermont, County Ohio, and he's a volunteer advisory board member with veterans. For Trump, Daniel, Anderson joins us as well. She's with us from Virginia Beach Virginia she his former surface warfare, naval officer, and Chief Chief Strategist at the nonprofit black veterans project and Danielle before the break we were just hearing everyone talk about. Which one of the candidates they believe you you believe possesses the kinds of qualities that the all of you listed that you'd like to see a commander in chief and wanted to give you a chance to answer that. Yes. Thank you, magna. Overwhelmingly Biden possesses those. Qualities not to say that he is perfect. But I'll just pee back on what Bob said that our defense is not just encapsulated by our budget or weapon systems it's the state of our domestic affairs. So I think understand this we are sort of long past the point of debating decor. We've we've almost two hundred thousand people dead from covid nineteen. In the horrendous response by President Trump, our debt will be larger than our gross domestic product for the first time in history and twenty twenty one. And we currently have a whistle blower that has stated that hysterectomies are being performed on detainees right at ice detainees and that's just this week. So I I think that overwhelmingly we can say. Or I can say this is not the president that that I will be voting for or that I'm looking for. So let me get right down to something. One one of the most iconic could I go back to Mike just a second. Yeah just real quick. So I can go ahead. Okay. MIC just real quick. The national defense strategy is just is just a document I have participated in writing the national defense strategy. It doesn't really matter. Less just implemented and to be implemented rests on a number of things one of which is the people in and the firmness in the belief in the United States, we have in our own country and our allies. You and I don't disagree on a lot of things but you can't just say the national defense strategy is a major trump accomplishment. Many administrations, right National, defense strategies that are never implemented and as far as I can tell, this administration has not done much this. Won't Sir Appreciate Your perspective I'd have to respectfully disagree with that have got many many friends in the military and cross the Department of fence still active to this day you know what they've seen under a leadership from people being put in charge employees like Dr Roper who has many many streamlining initiatives for acquisition to be competitive on the future battlefields you know it is being implemented and we have seen those changes and the diversity inclusiveness that has come in to being able to execute that. Absolutely there without a doubt and and you know I guess I harp on the fact of framing it as just stay document. I mean, no people look to and they take that leadership perspective saying this is this is our our initiative. This is our guiding document that we're going to step off onto. Honestly, it's very similar to what I heard with Danielle speaking of about the her comment on Horon, horrendous response to Covid I'm sorry. Sorry. I disagree there as well because what got every state across the country to take guidelines and shutdown or do what they thought was necessary. And that was the president's Cova nineteen guidelines. That's what everyone point to and that reference exactly back to where we're talking about national security because then that that that gets to the term of essential workers, essential workplaces, and that goes back to the full integration of Department of Homeland. Security's definition of essential, and that has thirteen sub sectors across all of industry in America of what is determined to be essential and why and you know without that the governor's. Would not have opportunity to to look at a Guiding Document and have leveraged basically say this is this is the federal government. So we got to remember this federalism we've got you know it's not the federal government that come in and dictate to the state how they are to how they are to run their states. That is where the governors the governor to ask for help when they need it and it's the federal government has been there to provide. That and again I, mean that's that's becomes fully circular because we saw the launching of the Defense Procurement Act, which rapidly allowed the opportunity for the Department of Defense to go ahead and procure face math ventilators and have everything that America needs so are hostile to pan has been affected. So Michael Just here for a second, because some states were moving to shut down before the Federal Government issued guidance and about the Defense Procurement Act of your the president did. Did activate the Defense Procurement Act. And did get the defense. Department to indeed a contractor to have some P P P P P and ventilators. Manufactured but that was also after the states found themselves bidding against the federal government for that very same key equipment. So I think it's a little more complicated than that. Now Look I I I actually respect everyone's. Views on this, but we can't spend a ton of time on each one of these issues I apologize for. But there's something there's there's aspects of your perspectives which are are unique by virtue of your service that I really want to dive into more deeply. Okay and to get back to this issue of a commander in chief. One of the perhaps the most solemn. Responsibility of commander-in-chief or or or duty or power that the commander in chief has is this is a person who makes decisions that ultimately ask folks like you who have chosen to serve to put your lives on the line for this country and you've all done that. So? I want to just go directly to something that has a controversy that has embroiled president trump. Okay. We have to talk about this that in in two thousand, eighteen in a trip to France the president did cancel a visit to the aisne Marne Cemetery. Where more than twenty two hundred Americans are buried who died fighting in the first World War now according to an article in the Atlantic. President trump referred to the dead service members as or two dead service members in general as quote, losers and suckers. Other media outlets confirmed much of that reporting and we did get a lot of messages from veterans sharing their thoughts on what the Atlantic reported. Hi, my name is Scott Horton. I might bluewater Viet Nam Navy vet. And I'm calling about trump's The way that he has referred to death both living and warmer, and I'm absolutely appalled my name is John Kerry. I'm forty one years old from Kenosha Wisconsin I join the marine from nine hundred, Ninety, seven to two thousand and one is a Marine Corps machine gunner unless it was recorded then he can hear him saying that I just don't think he's He's going out there and call in. Favor fabled veterans, losers or things like that. It's like you. You Know Donald Trump's background. You know he had his spat with John. McCain. Where he said some pretty bad things about John McCain being a POW. I have learned to Kinda not listen to all the little chatter that he talks and just look at his policy. You know he put a lot into the defense budget to build a military i. also write some of the things he did with the VA hospitals. My name is dex e slur. I joined the Air Force in one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, one. Retired as a major in twenty. Fifteen. This most recent thing about that. He said about the the military cemetery and the folks there in in France. I think was a real sucker punch to a lot of my conservative friends on on social media when he said those things about John McCain or he said those things about the gold star families he was talking about individuals and I think that any reasonable person can say, well, he just doesn't like John McCain. Okay Fair. But when he says that about an entire group of military people, those people in that moment there a proxy for the rest of the military because all of us we know when we sign up, we could be those people end up in that military cemetery at any moment. So again, just a few of the veterans who reached out to us with their responses to that Atlantic article. Now, all of you Bob Michael Danielle. You have put your lives on the line in service to the United. States you've had colleagues friends who have died. I just want to know and Danielle let us start. How did this reporting? How did that land with you? I'm going to be honest. MAGNA. I was not surprised. I think in even some of the. Videos that you played there. trump is, is said these things about John McCain about Senator Duckworth about many things? He's insulted many people attacks on gold, Star families to I'm going to say it. It really didn't surprise me but like like one of the veterans in those videos, I try to focus on his policies. And I'm less concerned about his decorum. I think we can all agree at this point that he said some some some pretty horrible things into it's really not surprising. Michael. Yes. Thank you for the opportunity on that one I gotta say Magna I agree with you on you know what? It's like to put your life on the line and Daniel I agree with you on focusing on President Trump's policies. because. Just, very quick on that. He's one of the first recent precedent presidents and sitting history to not interested into new wars and actually end wars you know but focusing on the Atlantic. I mean one I guess I do say I am not surprised because it is something that we've seen as constant unbridled attacks over the last four years but I have to give a personal experience. The end of August I was invited to attend Fort McHenry with about a hundred other individuals. Thirty of those being veterans, Metal WanNa, recipients, etc were to recipients. I walked the town of Baltimore with award or two D day veteran who his name is Steve Melnikov even on the cost off and I talked that afternoon in Baltimore and he told me the story about going in two thousand eighteen to France to be honored by President. Trump and president macron and how wonderful the event was you know and I met several different World War Two veterans that were part of that and the and the and the part of that from the Grids Generations Foundation CEO Tim Davis and I saw firsthand that level of support that has always been there. So to hear the first hand account before this new story broke I'll just say it broken time that is right after having military events. Like that at Fort McHenry after having World. War. Two Heritage Day and women to North Carolina to celebrate the Seventy Fifth Victory seventy fifth anniversary victory of world. War. Two. It doesn't surprise me because nowhere where those stories being told and went out of Fort McHenry. Press, come up to a Vietnam veteran, those paralyzed and he stood with the help of an Exoskeleton for the American flag that night and this press member. was just giving him the third degree about if the president who did surprise visit with no, no speech or anything just a surprise visit to to be standoff from ten fifteen feet away. But to talk with veterans and multi. Members that were there this press member gave the third degree, the Vietnam veteran about if the president touched him or not, and if the president was on this side of the barrier that side of the barrier this side of the bear. The bear trying to confuse this army ranger You know that that was there and I just felt so ashamed that's what our country is at and later walked back by the press pool and they're going frame by frame by frame to see if president trump touch somebody. But where did I see in the headlines that you know these medal of honor recipients where these? Silver Star recipients were you know and and how about how about a story about this Vietnam. and I'm just going to presume that when you said. You were invited to Fort McHenry that was during the Republican National Convention so Bob, let me I just want to, I, do want to hear your answer to your to the. How? Atlantic report landed with you. Often associate with Daniel I, think it was reprehensible. I think he was totally incorrect in character. Mr Trump has a reputation for being big on the military because he gave them military big defense budget. In his mind he's paying off the generals. He has absolutely no sense at all about what the servicemen contribute, what it's like to be a serviceman or their sacrifices. So. Then do you feel that Joe Biden has a has a deeper sense of that I. Mean A- his son did serve. So. What do you think? I think Biden by far has a greater sense of his son served Biden is vendor by vice president. He's been around military people. He's a compassionate man understands the requirements of the office I. Think he'll be a good president I think that he will not throw men's lives away nor will he run out on our allies as Mr Trump is done. And I look forward divided by adding presidency. I might add to I'm pleased that the trump. Rot has not spread thoroughly into the Pentagon so far that's the only branch of. His administration. So that is holding line as far as not being overly politicized You know. Not Having Direct Service experiences obviously no longer disqualifying for the presidency right Barack Obama Bill Clinton the we've had a lot of presidents In this century who haven't. Or since the beginning of the twentieth century who haven't. Directly, served in the military, but but then I want to ask you about whether or not this. Importance of the concept of what it means to serve how important do you think that is for a commander in chief to really deeply understand. Why think it's important I'll have to say a to understand what it means to serve but I don't believe that the military is the only way that you can serve. The American people and serve our democracy I. Think there are many people out there. Who are currently in Congress, in in across the board who have really dedicated their lives to serving the American people to serving veterans. And I don't think that military service is is a prerequisite for that I mean, how can it be only one percent as it now stands of Americans, serve in the military. So so I think that we have to understand there are other ways. To serve in other ways in which. We can understand that a candidate or president. Understands the importance of the importance of the office and importance of serving others Well, we are listening to three veterans of the United States, military today, Daniel, Anderson Michael Logan, and Bob killebrew join us when we come back, we'll talk about what they think the US military needs and what America needs from its military. So we have a lot more to discuss. We'll be back. This is on point. This is point Magneto, bardy every week we do a voter roundtable and we're doing that between now and the election to listen to Americans talk to each other about issues they care about and their hopes for this country of the next four years. Now, next week, we're going to be turning to a particular group of first time voters I'm talking about newly naturalized American citizens who will be casting their first ever ballots for president this fall. So if that's you if you just became a US citizen, what will it mean to you to be able to vote in this election? What are your deepest? Hopes for your newly adopted country for the country you are now a citizen by choice of call us with your story of naturalization your your thoughts about this election and your hopes for your country at six, one, seven, three, five, three, zero, six, eight, three, six, one, seven, three, five, three, zero, six, eight, three. That's for next week when we're going to be talking to newly naturalized US citizens this week, we're hearing from veterans of the United States military and we got a lot of voice meals from people who have served. Here's a few more of of the messages and what they had to say. My name is Lisa. Smith I were stationed in Cheyenne Wyoming a garden protected our nuclear missiles and then worked with missile ears and maintenance personnel to make sure they were operating and ready to use if and when the time came. I am fearful of president trump using our military personnel for his own gain and I think we've seen that a little bit over this year and we are not pawns and I don't think that people appreciate that my name is Patrick Milligan I'm from Maine I served under two presidents. I think that president trump has done a fantastic job of maintaining the military service. Whittier. I'm a student here at Columbia Law School. And I'm a veteran of the US Army I served for almost. Ten years. My sense from President. Trump is that he he has closer affinity to people who don't necessarily share our values and has a hard time with. Common ground or really showing respect to your partners and allies. So again, just a few of the many messages we received from veterans as we were preparing for this hour, I'm joined today by Danielle, Anderson, she's a former surface warfare officer in the United States Navy and chief strategist for the Black Veterans Project Michael. Logan joins US as well. He served in Iraq with the Third Battalion Twenty Fifth Marines and is a volunteer advisory board member with Veterans Trump Bob. killebrew is also with us. He's a retired army colonel he served in Vietnam. As well now. All of you I, just want to hear the voices a little bit of the candidate or the nominees themselves. So first of all, here is Joe Biden he was in Tampa, Florida just yesterday talking about veterans. CARE. Responsibility. To ensure, that. We're providing. Veterans with a class healthcare they deserve in every situation. That means hiring more doctors and medical personnel professionals to work at the VA clooney positions essential to veterans, health care nurses, and psychologists. That's Joe Biden in. Tampa. Florida yesterday and here's President Donald Trump in a press conference. Last Monday talking about how he sees his relationship with the military I'm not saying the military is in love with me to soldiers are the top people in the Pentagon probably aren't because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else they happy. But. We're getting out of the endless whereas you know how we're doing. Now Bob, Hewitt actually touched on this a little earlier about perhaps emerging differences of opinions between folks in the Pentagon or maybe the officer corps and other parts of the military. Do you see kind of a divergence there when you know the saddest part of this whole thing? Is that we're talking about politicizing the military. The service is services have been ever since the end of the civil war determinedly a political. And be idea that the president could now be trying to drive a wedge between the senior military leadership and the enlisted military just strikes me as one of the many proto treasonous things he's done during his time in office. No president and my. Imagination ever would try to do that. It's dangerous it's foolish. And it's an article, our democracy. I just. Heard that statement from him, I just shook my head I can't understand. Why his mouth gets carried away like that. Michael did you want to respond? Yeah. Absolutely. Appreciate that you know a few things from the last I mean the kind of rolled over but just I'll tie together here for you though you know the sense of the service members. So what's being done sporting servicemembers we've got the. At policy and the record here that no new wars donald trump has been. Has Been Ending Moore's his divide with General Mattis Secretary Masks at the time was over leaving Syria you know and and yesterday coming off the heels of of Abraham cords where there is peace in the Middle East and what that's going to do, and that's something that's you know Record Thompson and over twenty five years. So from being a door kicker who was the first. Clearing House to house in two, thousand five. My Gosh that's what I want a president in two thousand and seven. I gave a newspaper interview where I said if we pull out of Iraq and leave it as a vacuum, you will see what happens in Somalia were terrorist breeding grounds come and not not more than years later is that what the Obama Administration did were they pulled out and they give back for Isis to come back into the area and Look. They did they did that right through Syria into our province, which was an area that I fought and which was an area that general solomonic Iran was was giving aid to, and that's what we had the largest ID strikes in the Iraq war that killed my marines. But Michael me just ask you about this because this is this is important but didn't you also say a little earlier that that you were Proud of president trump for being the one who stops who who trying to stop the endless wars I mean. So that requires by certain by one definition at least the exactly what you're talking about the pull out of troops. which you're now saying that the Obama Administration was wrong to do in Iraq. So they left a vacuum without at a point in time in which when which Iraqis were established, it was forecasted to the world. So gave opportunity take advantage of and what you saw happen was the terrorist breeding grounds come into place and he saw training camps forums and they were being watched and the rules of engagement had changed. So significantly now yes, there was. High, amount of drone strike that under Obama Biden that they took place in but I don't know why they weren't having drone strike on the training camps and you saw what a leader like president trump being able to come in and do for. Isis. And I gotTa tell you from from being a marine on the ground in that area where I had marine brothers. Die You know blood sweat and tears shed. That that is something that speaks to you know we're talking about any type of veteran affairs support or or service or or post traumatic stress look. I had a lot of marines at that point in time coming up on ten year anniversary of our service really having a difficult time because they're struggling to see the humanity of what was going on in Iraq to those women those children that we that we fought you know to protect and give east to and just seeing that a road that is terrible and that will Michael Islamic. So. Sorry I keep keep keep a stepping on your words and I do I do apologize for that but I want to make some I want to be sure to make space for for everyone. So Danielle. Jump in here because want to hear your answer to or your response to what what Bob said earlier that he is distressed by what he sees as the politicization of. Of the United States military because. Your your thoughts on that. Yeah. Thank you. Magnette. I'll have to agree. There with Bob, I, mean the military Is Sort of the last thing that is supposed to stand between. You know complete like dictatorship rate and we are supposed to be they're. Not as a political pawn and not to be used for reelection purposes, or personal gain or even just for feel good moment right to talk about how service members love you and in two where we're not a monolith right I think that the VA has a report that comes out I. Think it's every two to three years and you know by twenty thirty. Veteran population will be overwhelming gre-. People of Color and I can tell you that we're not a monolith. We don't all soldiers do not love trump All soldiers do not believe in and. Everything that trump does. And I think I am sort of really exhausted with being. Painted one is as a monolith right that we all are a conservative we all sort of believe the same things in in to that being used as a political pawn Often by trump himself who was also never served So those are two things that are really really. Upsetting to me. So. We're mega can I? Can I commend? One of the things that keeps our country going is at has are the institutions run this country the courts? Cabinet cabinet officers, the Defense Department. And the institution of the military itself. While trump tax institutions and he has consistently through his time in office so far. One institution that has managed to stay above the fray. As the military. And that's because military members not just officers but enlisted soldiers well, feel instinctively. That they should stay out of politics. Their mission is outside the country taking care of national security threats. Push on us and our allies. When he starts attacking fundamental institutions like that, and within the institutions, the enlisted force versus the commission force he's playing a very, very deadly and dangerous game with our democracy. Mean have has the military state entirely above the fray ball because wasn't it general milley that was with the president during his photo op at the Church Lafayette Square, I mean he later apologized for that but that happened which he later apologized to which. In, my experience is unprecedented for a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Well but in fact, we haven't, and that's that's one of the things that should alarm us all. When I came on active duty, it was impossible to think of a retired general officer entering politics when that happened as it had occasionally the fellow general officers were horrified in for junior officers like me it was an example to stay above politics. In the last several years, there's been a distressing tent trend. For Officers once retired to enter the political. FROYO. distresses a lot of us other retired officers as well. But I'm doing it now on your radio show. The impulse for retired officer stay involved in national policies is is very strong but for an active duty officer like Miley like the other senior officers in the armed services politics is still an absolute. No No. and Mr Trump has trouble understanding how people can be a political as long as they wear the uniform. Well, we're rounding to the last couple of minutes of the show here and I want to end with the question that I've been ending all of our roundtables every week with, and that's to give about a minute. To share your, what are your hopes for this country over the next four years and if you want you can you can narrow that Lens a little bit if you want further and say, what are your hopes for the military? For the next four years both got just about a minute. Available for each of you. So so Michael go ahead you go first. Absolutely. Get through this quickly then Tampa. Biden also made the horrifying statement about a marine veteran killing and raping a woman yesterday and that that is a stigma of PTSD. That's such things back ten years. So that's me does not support the servicemen where the work that I've done over the last decade. That is horrific. Danielle, I agree with you on the Monolithic Monolithic people of color and you know that's why here WanNa hear Biden's. Speaking points when he compares the black population to Latinos and that they're not, they're not different like the Latinos I have significant concern issues with that with you Bert comments that fight him has made over the decades from supporting from his own vice president that went against him on the busing segregation in the nineteen seventies. Nineteen ninety-four Biting Crime Bill. It has been significantly oppressive and you know back over to it what what the question here. Is American idealism. All right. It's always a strive for a better life for all Americans. The constitution protects that we have to protect the constitution because it puts it individual freedom of speech and religion above government, and that's something that threatens the rest of the world and as Americans our ideals or under attack i. saw that Firsthand Watt leaving the White House the following the RNC, and I could Not Freely move as I'm pushing a double amputee combat veteran and I have a sixteen year old with me and I'm trying to meet up with with my African American friends from college but we're unable to because the protesters are are slurring Adam and in our way, and that to me is critical that I can't even express an opinion I was told to take my American flag off. Sorry it's GonNa people are gonNA sound think I'm just interrupting you on purpose. It's just because a time because we just we have two minutes left and I do really want to give Danielle Imbaba chance to answer the question about. Your hopes and dreams for the next four years. Daniel give you just a quick minute here. Yeah. Thank you magnette overall. My hope is that we have someone who? Wants to keep the sanctity of our democracy. I think you know attacking the US Postal Service attacking reporters in journalism as a whole in a lot of the other things that have happened in the last four years have done nothing but sort of erode our democracy. So I'm looking for a person who is going to be accountable and hold themselves accountable. For or her actions and then someone who prioritizes. All Americans not just people that live in the suburbs. And not just the military soldier. But everyone even those who don't agree with their agenda or with their decisions will Bob I'm afraid we've got you down to forty five seconds. Your hopes and dreams for this country. That'll be that'll be easy. What I want is someone as a president who will restore the didn't the dignity of the office who be Joe Torre allies. Someone. Who will rebuild our institutions? Respect our constitution try to bring our country together again and respect the apolitical nature of the military and respect for the men and women who serve. Well Bob killebrew retired army colonel who served in Vietnam Bob. Thank you so very much. My pleasure and Michael Loeb served in Iraq with Third Battalion Twenty. Fifth Marines Michael Thank you so very much. My pleasure. Thank you for the time and Daniel Anderson a surface, a former surface warfare officer in the United States Navy and chief strategist at the Black Veterans Project Daniel thank you so much. Thank you so much magnetic pleasure I magnin Tucker Buddy this is on point.

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