Southern California

‘It's Not What This Country is About,' SoCal Veterans Say of Capitol Riot

"How can you not have planned for this contingency?" he said. "I hate to say it didn’t surprise me because we’ve seen this building and building and building."

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Among those horrified by the events at the capitol Wednesday were many of our nation's veterans. Some in Southern California say they watched the assault on the democracy they swore to defend in dismay.

"I was absolutely devastated when I saw everything that was happening yesterday," Linsay Rousseau said.

SoCal veterans who served and fought in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army, the Navy, and the Marines all shared the same feeling. Rousseau and several Southern California vets said they all agreed that what they saw yesterday at the nation’s capitol goes against everything the country stands for.

Starting with President Trump’s “Save America Rally” speech, to rioters breaching the U.S. Capitol and ending with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris confirmed as the next President and Vice President of the U.S., here’s a look at what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

"It's not what this country is about. It’s not what democracy is about," Rousseau said.

"What we saw yesterday at the capitol was nothing short of infantile anarchy," Army veteran Colin Wells said.

"It's a disgrace to what we did what we did overseas and what our brothers and sisters are doing in our uniform today," Marine veteran Mike Owen said.

Trevor Nagle served for 14 years in the Army and Navy and says he’s stunned that capitol law enforcement wasn’t better prepared for something that everyone saw coming.

"How can you not have planned for this contingency?" he said. "I hate to say it didn’t surprise me because we’ve seen this building and building and building."

"They stormed our nation’s Capitol building. How do you let that happen?" said Army veteran Katrina Littel.

These SoCal veterans with also said they’re saddened that fellow veterans appear to be among those who participated, including one who was killed. They worry about that means for the future.

It pierces me to my soul because that’s not what we as veterans took an oath to [do]. Our number one priority was to defend the constitution and democracy. We don’t take an oath to a person -- we take an oath to the constitution.

Linsay Rousseau, veteran

"Purpose driven protest is what I fought for and not anarchy," Wells said.

"We’re trained overseas to do what we’re supposed to do now we’re looking at it right at our front door," Owen said.

Scuffles broke out in multiple parts of the city. As seen on NBC4 News on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
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