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Tags: memorial day | vietnam memorial | michael waltz | veterans

Rep. Waltz: GOP, Dem Vets Clean Vietnam Memorial Together

By    |   Sunday, 26 May 2024 05:34 PM EDT

Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday how he started a tradition of getting together members of Congress who are U.S. military veterans to help clean up the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., before every Memorial Day.

Waltz, a Green Beret officer who was decorated with four Bronze Stars, said that several years ago, he came across a colleague who was a Vietnam veteran who said he was going to help the National Park Service clean the Vietnam Memorial before Memorial Day as a way to honor those who had died in combat.

The congressman continued that once he got elected and saw the acrimony in Congress between Republicans and Democrats, he decided to get a group of veterans from both sides of the aisle to go clean the Vietnam Memorial together.

"I think that's important for the American people to see: to see us honoring our forefathers, to see us where Democrat, Republican, Black, white, brown — none of that matters," Waltz said. "It just matters that we're all Americans, we're all veterans, and we're honoring those that came before us. And it's turned into a bit of a tradition now."

Waltz is a member of the bipartisan For Country Caucus, which provides members of Congress who are military veterans the opportunity to work together across party lines to pass legislation in national security, veterans affairs, and national service. 

He said that on this Memorial Day weekend he is thinking of "Sgt. Matt Pucino, [who] was one of my Green Berets that we lost in Afghanistan. He volunteered to go on point every single mission, and eventually a trip-wire IED [improvised explosive device] killed him."

"I just tell myself, I look in the mirror every morning before I go into the Capitol and tell myself to be worthy, you know, be worthy of that sacrifice," Waltz said, "and our charge, I think, as leaders, as elected leaders, is to comport ourselves in a way that's worthy of their sacrifice in front of the American people."

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., described to CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday how he started a tradition of getting together members of Congress who are U.S. military veterans to help clean up the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., before every Memorial Day.
memorial day, vietnam memorial, michael waltz, veterans
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2024-34-26
Sunday, 26 May 2024 05:34 PM
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