Donald Trump’s outreach to the military community may be paying off as his message is resonating with veterans who see him as a more capable commander-in-chief than Hillary Clinton.
In separate interviews with five U.S. military veterans, Independent Journal Review asked why the Republican presidential nominee seems to be solidifying support among the military.
“The reason is because the majority of veterans know what right and wrong is,” Benghazi survivor Kris Paronto said. “We see bullsh** with Hillary’s approach to veterans. Veterans don’t put up with that crap. Hillary is lying to us straight in the face and then she wants to be Commander-in-Chief.”
A former Army Ranger and private security contractor, Paronto was part of the team that defended the American diplomatic outpost from a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. He has been an outspoken opponent of Clinton, accusing her of not being truthful about the events surrounding the attack.
“You know she could have sent troops. Yet, she left us behind. She says she wants to support the military but we see national security isn’t even an issue to her,” Paronto said.
“There is no way in hell we want to support this woman,” he added. “We sacrifice our lives for this country. Hillary has proven that she doesn’t care about those sacrifices.”
Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Drew Norman is sure “that Hillary will literally leave us to die for her own political gain.”
“Anybody that’s been in a life or death situation abroad and has more than two brain cells to rub together knows that Trump might not be the perfect candidate, but we also understand that Trump will send somebody for us in a pinch,” Norman told IJR. “There’s no law more sacred to violate in our community than this: never leave anyone behind, we ALWAYS come for our own.”
Neither nominee seems the perfect choice for Iraq War veteran Justin Youse.
“I don’t think that it is anything in particular that Trump is doing. Neither are very popular,” he said. “I think that many of the undecided voters are coming out and making a decision based off of the continued stories coming out about Hillary.”
James Skelton, an Afghanistan War veteran, described Trump as a “maverick” and believes his ability to speak his mind is what makes him a favorable candidate for military members.
“It’s because he is seen by them as a leader and a fighter. In this instance, this means being unafraid to take on the status quo and rock a few boats,” Skelton told IJR.. “Among service members, our most beloved folk heroes have always been the generals and war fighters who were willing to question things and operate on the ragged edges of acceptable wisdom and consensus of the time. A maverick if you will. Someone willing to speak their mind, fully.”
He added that “Donald Trump, while not perfect, embodies many of these same characteristics and traits. And he was early to the game in making veterans’ issues a priority.”
When Independent Journal Review asked Afghanistan War veteran and Georgia state representative, David Clark, why he thought the military community seems to be more supportive of Trump, his answer was simple.
“I only need one word, Benghazi,” he said.
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