Media Mention

Tom Ridge: Stay-at-home order protests dishonor America’s veterans

April 29, 2020

Note: this piece was originally published in USAToday, and was written by Checks & Balances member Tom Ridge. 

Bennie Adkins died the other day. The retired Army command sergeant major was 86 and had fought a 23-day battle against coronavirus. A little more than 50 years ago, halfway around the world, Bennie’s heroic actions at the battle of Dai Do in Vietnam resulted in his being awarded the Medal of Honor.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about my fellow veterans. Honorable men like Bennie Adkins. And John McCain. We carried the weapons of war in defense of our nation and our liberties.

In recent days, we have seen images of Americans carrying weapons as part of their protests to immediately reopen society. What are they planning to do, shoot the virus with their AR-15s?

These self-absorbed and selfish Americans complain they are irritated, anxious, bored, upset — unhappy that their lives have been affected by this temporary restraint on their freedoms. Some have even gotten into confrontations with nurses and other front-line health care workers who believe now is not the time to resume normality.

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