Nate Terani, a Navy veteran from Arizona, crashed the Washington D.C. offices of Senator John McCain on Thursday, greeting the woman at the front desk with a simple statement:
‘Donald Trump has proven he is a bigot.’
He was not alone. As reported in The Huffington Post, Terani was joined by a handful of U.S. military veterans from around the country to confront Sen. McCain, himself a veteran, regarding his undying support of Donald Trump and his bid for the presidency.
Some of the veterans flew in from around the country for the occasion, and together they delivered a petition with 100,000 signatures that asked that Republican leaders such as McCain retract their endorsements of Donald Trump.
A rally was held outside the offices, and the veterans entered the building in order to speak to McCain face to face. Unfortunately, with Congress currently out of session until September, they were only able to speak with office reception, making the meeting much less climactic and impactful than they had hoped. However, the group was offered the opportunity to get their message heard in the press. Terani said:
‘Our military is one of the most diverse militaries in the world. Donald Trump has proved that he’s not fit to lead us.’
Terani is absolutely correct. Our armed forces can be proud of the fact that military service in the United States offers opportunity to a diverse range of American citizens. According to a 2014 report provided by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, over a quarter of all military members identify themselves as an ethnic minority, with the number of people of color receiving commissions and becoming officers rising dramatically in the last 20 years, from only 14.6 percent in 1995 to 20.3 percent in 2014.
Although the number of women in the armed forces is not proportional to the population at 18.8 percent, the ratio of commissioned female officers to enlisted female members is the same as the ratio for male service members, with 5.3 enlisted women to every female officer and 5.4 enlisted male service members to every one male officer. These statistics show that our armed forces offer a level playing field for advancement for any American choosing a career in the military.
Terani and his group of veterans left behind a stack of boxes that represented the signatures of those asking Sen. McCain and other Republican leaders to renounce Donald Trump based on his bigoted, anti-Muslim, and misogynist statements. (However, the actual data for the petition signers were on a flash drive provided by the group.)
The event was sponsored by MoveOn.org and Common Defense PAC, a group of American Veterans in opposition to Donald Trump.
The group is hoping that John McCain, known for his “maverick” tendencies to go against his party and follow his own ideas, will retract his endorsement for Donald Trump. Trump has given McCain nothing but disrespect and dismissal, making light of McCain’s time as a prisoner of war and refusing to endorse the senator in return during his struggling primary campaign.
Alexander McCoy, a New York Marine veteran involved in the event, told the press:
‘John McCain is a leader in the Republican Party. He’s known as someone who stands up for his values, who stands up for integrity, and puts his patriotism and the values of America before party. He’s someone that Donald Trump has personally insulted. We hope that he listens to us today. We believe that will be a large indication of whether he stands with veterans.’
California Army Vet Mickiela Montoya also made an appeal, saying that:
‘[Trump] is only interested in his own personal profit. His history reflects that. Please withdraw your endorsement immediately.’
Featured image via Getty Images