ICYMI: Montana Veterans condemn Congressman Zinke for supporting Trump
Montana Veterans John Hollow, Josh Manning, Diane Carlson-Evans and Jim Gillison all stood on the steps of the Capitol on Thursday to let Congressman Zinke know he’s not leading.
“I don’t think Zinke having served as a Navy SEAL gives a Congressman a license to ignore veteran issues,” said Hollow, who served as a Navy SEAL during Vietnam.
“I question why Ryan Zinke, a brother veteran, would support Donald Trump,” said Carlson-Evans, a combat nurse in Vietnam.
In addition to Congressman Zinke’s support for Donald Trump – even as he denigrates members of the military and their families – the veterans present on Thursday raised serious questions about Congressman Zinke’s own record on veterans:
- Zinke demeans veterans who earn benefits. It was reported in 2014 that he receives approximately $1,950 per month in benefits, in addition to his pension, however he told the (delete: Los Angeles Times and the) Billings Gazette that he worries about the “economic slavery” of accepting government services. [Billings Gazette, 3/29/16]
- Zinke said to veterans: “Don’t be a victim” when he talked on SOFREP Internet radio in 2014. [SOFREP Internet Radio Program (24:45), 1/27/14]
- He’s missed at least a couple of veterans’ votes because he was too busy promoting himself on Fox News:
- On May 18, 2015, Zinke appeared on Fox News but missed a vote on a measure that would allow the VA to give preference to contracts who employ veterans when awarding a contract. He also missed a vote that would give the surviving spouses of veterans with small businesses who contract with the VA preferred status after the veteran’s death. [Rep Zinke press release, 5/19/16; CQ, 5/18/15; H.R. 1382, Vote 242, 5/18/15; CQ, 5/18/15; H.R. 1313, Vote 241, 5/18/15]
“The sacrifice born by (veterans) and their families is unquantifiable,” said Retired Lt. Col. Gillison.
“Congressman Zinke doesn’t stand with veterans. He doesn’t stand with Montanans,” said Staff Sgt. Manning. “He stands alone for his own career and profit. It is beyond time for him to show some leadership or get out of the way for someone who can.”