Going forward we will continue to seek policies that unite Americans of both parties
(Boise, Idaho) — The consequences of Wednesday’s protest in Washington, D.C. will have social and political reverberations for years. For a moment, we would like to bring attention to the cost of such action that is being ignored—or in some dark corners celebrated.
Ashli Babbitt, a resident of San Diego, California, was shot and killed by police Wednesday as demonstrators occupied the halls of Congress. Ashli was a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard. She survived four tours overseas in the War on Terror, including both Iraq and Afghanistan, only to be unceremoniously killed in the U.S. Capitol Building, the same place that refused to vote to send her there. We grieve her death, as we mourn for all our soldiers whose lives are cut short too soon, both at home and abroad.
Millions of our fellow Americans are angry. Millions more are hurting. And we are all exhausted. Wherever this crisis of confidence takes us, our organization will continue to put forward the one issue that polls indicate unites an overwhelming majority of all Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and independents, liberals and conservatives: bringing our troops home from endless wars in the Middle East.
As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take the oath of office, we urge him to recognize the damage twenty years of war has done to the American nation physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. And to the extent that he is willing to move in the direction of bringing our troops home, we are willing and prepared to work with his administration.
We are not a partisan organization that toes the line of a single party. We are a collection of veterans and civilians who believe in putting the interests of America, our soldiers, and the U.S. Constitution first. To the degree a politician of either party works for those goals, we will support them. And to the degree a politician works against those goals, we will oppose them.
In the coming months, you will find us working hard to pass ‘Defend the Guard’ legislation in dozens of states across the country, requiring that a state’s National Guard can no longer be deployed to foreign combat operations unless Congress has first declared war as required by the Constitution. Such bills will be introduced by Republican legislators, Democratic legislators, and even Libertarian legislators, all of whom know that these bills are the best way to protect our National Guard and hold Congress accountable in foreign policy. And heartbreaking as it may be, if the last several days in Washington and months of violent protests across America last summer prove anything, it’s that our National Guard troops should be standing by to assist in COVID-19 response and serve as peacekeepers here at home, not war fighters in some foreign desert.
We are confident that we will bring our troops home. We are confident that we will restore congressional war powers and responsibilities. And we are confident that the future will be a brighter place for all Americans.
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