Combat veterans have challenged Donald Trump to join them in their march in his hometown of New York City on August 22nd. The attire for the march – only underwear. The marches began in July and are designed to bring awareness to the 22 veterans who kill themselves every day.
Donny O’Malley, a retired Marine captain and founder of the non-profit Irreverent Warriors, created this YouTube video where veterans challenge Trump to join the march. O’Malley said he wants the illustrious presidential candidate to enjoy “crude jokes and laughter” with them. He said this is how veterans heal the mental wounds from combat.
The YouTube challenge includes a video clip of Trump saying during a television interview – “Let me tell ya, I’ll take care of our vets, because our vets are treated horribly.”
Donny O’Malley created the non-profit in San Diego, California. His organization held the first “22 event” on July 25th in San Diego. The initial march took place with marines and combat veterans, but the concept expanded to Houston with veterans from all branches of the military and to those who have all types of problems, including financial, relationship, loneliness, depression, drug and alcohol addiction, and problems with assimilation into civilian life.
The website for the non-profit states, “In order for us to cope, to process, and to deal with what we’ve done and seen, combat veterans have to get together, we have to be there for each other, we have to be able to talk to each other, laugh about our experiences, and understand that everything we did, thought, and saw, was what we needed to do, think, and see, in order to protect our country.”
The goal of the Irreverent Warriors group has been for their 22 event to be a catalyst for events all over the country.
They say, “We don’t need to raise awareness for the 22, the whole country is already talking about it. What we need to raise awareness about is how to effectively help the 22, and the answer is simple. Facilitate communication amongst combat veterans of the same unit and same deployment, or of the same battlefield. Warriors have a powerful connection to the lands they fought on.”
The combat veterans describe themselves as “guys who have used humor to get through the darkest side of humanity. We are infantrymen, special operators, engineers, corpsman, combat medics, and anyone who has been attached to grunts and operators- and walked into the fire of combat.”
The veterans will again march 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) and carry 22 kilograms (48.5 pounds) in backpacks to bring attention to the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day.
In July and August, marches were held in San Diego and Houston, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Over 260 veterans in Houston marched in their “silkies” (as O’Malley refers to them) through Houston in the summer heat. The march was billed as “22 with 22 for the 22.” There was also an event in St. Charles, Missouri on August 15th.
O’Malley told Breitbart Texas, “I want civilians to know that the best way to help a loved one who is struggling with demons from combat is to put their loved one in touch with someone they served with in combat. Reconnecting with old battle buddies — or even guys who fought on the same battlefield — fuels the soul better than anything.”
Donations that are pledged in anticipation of Trump joining the group in New York will only be processed if the presidential candidate marches with them. Donations are now being accepted at www.challeng.org/trump
Marine reconnaissance veteran Rodolfo “Rudy” Reyes will be attending the New York march. He is best known for portraying himself in the HBO TV series “Generation Kill”.
O’Malley states in the YouTube video, “I know you support your country’s veterans. But I can assure you, that if you join us on August 22nd in New York City, in your city, and laugh with us, cry with us, drink with us, you will make a more powerful statement than your money will ever buy.”
The Department of Veteran Affairs issued a Suicide Data Report in 2012 which reported that 22 veterans a day commit suicide and that many, many, of them suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2