Retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West told baseball pitching great Curt Schilling, the host of Whatever It Takes, that it is important to take care of our veterans and the warriors down range in a Thursday interview.
“I know that we are not taking care of our veterans,” said Schilling, whose show broadcasts weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Breitbart.com, with replays available at Soundcloud.com/Breitbart. “I am embarrassed that my country does not take care of its veterans.”
West, a former Republican congressman from Florida, said, “That is why we need more veterans serving in the House and Senate.”
The former battalion commander in Iraq told Schilling if there were more veterans in Congress, they would stop programs like the $17 million program to decide which handgun should replace the Beretta 9mm.
Schilling asked West, as someone who deployed overseas, how does a democracy like the United States that accepts the Law of Warfare prepare its soldiers to combat an enemy that plays by no rules?
“This is what I told my soldiers before we deployed in 2003 to Iraq: ‘The person that you are here in the United States of America in this environment, you have to leave that person here,'” he said.
“When you get on the airplane, the person that lands over there has to be a different person,” he said.
“The person who lands over there in a combat theater of operations needs to understand their task and purpose,” he said. “They have to understand they have to protect themselves and they have to protect the soldiers to their left and to their right–and they have to realize that they are in an environment where any man, woman, or child can potentially be the enemy.”
West said before going into a combat zone, at some point the soldier’s training must be supplemented by the soldier’s own will to fight and survive.
Given that the Rules of Engagement are so restrictive and the penalties so severe, soldiers must make split-second decisions under an unfair duress, he said. “We cannot have our men and women second-guessing themselves because they are concerned about any type of legal ramifications.”
West said we need to do a better job preparing the American people for war so that they understand the enemy we are facing and what our soldiers need to do to defeat that enemy.
It is sickening that Army 1st Lt. Chris Lorance was sentenced to 20 years at Fort Leavenworth for firing upon the enemy, but Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama and Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl still has not been court-martialed for deserting his post in Afghanistan, the colonel said.
Listen to Curt Schilling host Whatever It Takes weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Breitbart.com.
Listen to Curt Schilling’s entire interview with Allen West here: