The Veterans for Ron Paul 2012 White House march was a success, drawing hundreds of veterans and active-duty service members to Washington, D.C., on Monday to show their support for the only veteran in the remaining Republican presidential primary field.
The President's Day event, dubbed Ron Paul is the Choice of the Troops, brought veterans and troops from all over the country together in the nation's capital, where they marched from the Washington Monument to the White House in order to protest President Barack Obama's foreign policy and to rally for their chosen presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
About 500 marchers--veterans, active duty troops and their family members--participated in the fully-permitted event, and hundreds more onlookers showed their support without actually marching.
After rallying the afternoon of Feb. 20 on the National Mall, the marchers made their way to Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House, where they stood in a moment of silence, as family members of fallen warriors held their hands on an American flag. They remained silent for one second for each service member that has died in conflict since Obama's inauguration.
The success of the march could be determined by reading the comments on the Veterans for Ron Paul 2012 Facebook page on Tuesday, where many Ron Paul supporters had come forward to relay their reflections on having participating in the event, and to post messages of gratitude and solidarity with those who participated.
Pamela Leffingwell LaBrake, a Ron Paul 2012 supporter from Schenectady, N.Y., couldn't be in Washington, D.C., for the event, but she watched along online and said she was moved nonetheless:
Watched the live stream yesterday and I don't think there could be a dry eye watching, just amazing, she wrote on the group's Facebook wall. God Bless our Troops, Veterans and families. Bring them all home.
A number of march participants and Paul supporters stated messages of disappointment that the event was not covered by most mainstream media outlets.
Ron Paul supporter Kellie Swift-Wikel posted the following message: Today I am both honered and ashamed to be an American and a veteran. Today you/we made history and I am honered that we have that right as American citizens to speak and stand up for what we believe in. However I am ashamed as America as a whole today as to the fact that the media is so biased that they were not there to report the happenings of today after seeing the veterans march for Ron Paul so ignored and unreported to the nation.
But the overall feel of messages left on the Facebook wall was on of positivity and pride in the march's success.
Tacoma, Washington, Ron Paul supporter Christopher A. Rich posted the following: Getting Ron Paul elected is the first battle worth fighting for in many decades. I have a tremendous amount of respect for all that participated. I work with many AD AF people on the west coast that wish they could have been there. Todays event was historical.
Dr. Ron Paul has become popular with American veterans and active-duty service members because of his unique approach to foreign policy. He believes that America should have a strong military, but that it should not risk lives and waste resources fighting wrong-headed wars.
He has also gained popularity with the veteran/soldier demographic because he is the only remaining member of the Republican presidential primary field this year who has served in the U.S. military. Paul served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and in the U.S. Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. He later entered private medical practice in obstetrics and gynecology.
The idea that Ron Paul has massive support from veterans seems to be based in some factual evidence, as An internal analysis from the Ron Paul presidential campaign, shows that Paul received more military donations than his Republican rivals and President Barack Obama in the fourth quarter, according to Digital Journal.
The Monday march was the brainchild of Adam Kokesh, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, political commentator and one-time Republican congressional candidate, and Nathan Cox, a U.S. Army veteran, political activist and supporter of Veterans for Ron Paul who first conceived of the event in early January.
Kokesh described the impetus behind Veterans for Ron Paul's creation during interview with The Washington Times: We want a commander-in-chief who will be decisive, put America's security first, and only send troops into harm's way with a clear mission. Ron Paul is the only candidate with a pragmatic and principled foreign policy.
Watch a video of the Ron Paul is the Choice of the Troops Veterans for Ron Paul 2012 White House march below: