Exclusive — Ryan Zinke Introduces Resolution to Make October ‘Special Operations Appreciation Month’

Ryan Zinke / House.gov
Ryan Zinke / House.gov

Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, a former commander at Navy SEAL Team Six, has brought together a bipartisan coalition to commemorate October as “Special Operations Appreciation Month.”

Congressmen will give speeches and meet with Special Operations Forces units. Zinke chose October for its significance in relation to the First Special Services Forces called the “The Devil’s Brigade,” performing heroic and death-defying feats in October 1943 in Italy, from which today’s Special Operations trace their roots.

In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Zinke said he wants to raise more awareness of troops’ sacrifices:

I look at my tenure in Congress as my second service — service both to my country and the armed forces. Special Operations Appreciation Month is just one small way to raise awareness and honor our warriors and their families. It’s simple, the more folks talk about our troops, SOFs and military families, the more folks will remember the great sacrifices that are made, and hopefully are more compelled to honor these outstanding individuals. All our troops deserve more than what we are doing for them right now — I think Congress recognizes that. I’m grateful to my 25 colleagues from both sides of the aisle who have already signed on to the resolution.

In a press release, Zinke slammed Veterans Administration mismanagement and high levels of homelessness and unemployment among veterans.

“The toll that multiple deployments — sometimes as many as a dozen in just a few years — take on the warrior and the family is incomprehensible,” Zinke said.

In my own experience, having served 23 years, my wife, Lola, was often times was the mom and the dad, helping the kids with sports and homework, reassuring our daughter not all boys are terrible, and promising our sons they will get taller. At one time during the War in Iraq, Lola was at home with our two young boys, while her husband, her daughter, and her son-in-law were all deployed. Special Operations Appreciation Month is just as much about the heroes at home as it is about the warriors on the field of battle.

Zinke led special operations personnel during Operation Iraqi freedom, conducting, “360 combat patrols, 48 direct action missions and hundreds of sensitive missions,” and “was responsible for killing or capturing 72 known enemies, insurgents and terrorists,” according to the 2014 book Eyes on Target by Scott McEwan and Richard Miniter.

Republicans and Democrats signed on as co-sponsors:

Sam Graves (R-MO)
Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Brad Ashford (D-NE)
Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Tim Walz (D-MN)
Will Hurd (R-TX)
Walter Jones (R-NC)
Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Tom MacArthur (R-NJ)
Brian Babin (R-TX)
Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
Tom Marino (R-PA)
Jody Hice (R-GA)
Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Dan Benishek (R-MI)
Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Jim Langevin (D-RI)
Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA)
Mia Love (R-UT)
French Hill (R-AR)