WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following two incidents this month where veterans of the armed services murdered police officers, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and GOP congressional leaders are putting heavy pressure on ordinary military people to condemn the actions of radicalized veterans, according to several statements released by representatives.
"Why is no one willing to use the phrase 'radical veteranism?'" asked Frank Guinta (R-NH) at a speech in Portsmouth. "Why is it so hard for us to tell it like it is?”
“These people are dangerous, they prescribe a specific ideology, and they're in our country,” he continued. “Military leaders and ordinary troops need to stand up and condemn these actions. Are they on our side or not?"
Within the last two weeks, Gavin Long, a veteran of the US Marines, and Micah Xavier Johnson, a veteran of the US Army, ambushed and killed several police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas, respectively. In the wake of these attacks, widespread concern over the presence of veterans inside the country has broken out.
"Look, there are anywhere between five and 10,000 veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan every year, many of whom are bringing strange ideas and experiences with them," Trump said in an interview with CNN. "We should prevent them from re-entering the country until we figure out what's going on."
But the real pressure is on military leadership to publicly condemn the actions of their veterans.
The Council on American/Military Relations (CAMR) has gone on the offensive.
"The actions of Mr. Johnson do not reflect the values of the United States Army or any of the other branches of service," CAMR Secretary Eric Fanning said in response to the calls for condemnation. "The army is a religion of peace."
Some aren't satisfied with condemnation. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich believes that veterans should be required to take a test to determine if they support martial law.
"Martial law is incompatible with western civilization," Gingrich told Fox News. "Most veterans have given up the UCMJ. Glad to have them. But anybody who goes on a website favoring the VFW or TapOut, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail.”
Further adding fuel to the fire, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has released a video showing "radicalization camps" located in San Antonio, Texas, and in South Carolina at Parris Island and Fort Jackson.
"This is what we're dealing with," he said. "And let's be honest — has any, um, non-civilian group ever made any tangible contribution to American society?"
King says the video shows young men and women taking oaths and marching around in small circles, while they are brainwashed by loud, angry and often psychotic men in strange headgear. The results of the video's release have been profound; some communities — such as Hermann, Missouri — are completely barring veterans from entering their cities.
"They come over here and start making T-Shirts with skulls on them and stuff," another Hermann resident said. "And that guy who was in the Air Force band keeps trying to get me discounts on tactical gear from USEagleFreedomStoreDepot.com.”
“What am I going to do with Gore-tex underwear?"