MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Tuesday, a group of veterans gathered at Veterans’ Park in Manchester to share they are voting for Joe Biden next week in a small event organized by the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
Led by Maura Sullivan, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who ran for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District seat in 2018 and served in the U.S. Veterans’ Administration and U.S. Department of Defense under the Obama Administration.
Sullivan shared a story of how Biden attended a funeral for several members of the military just weeks after his son Beau died and departed from prepared remarks to speak from the heart in a deeply emotional moment.
“His own pain was still so raw, but he was able to put that aside because his deep ability to emphasize with others, put himself into someone else’s shoes and comfort someone else’s family. I don’t think there’s another person in the country who could have done what he did that day,” she said. “Right now America needs a lot of things, but we’re also a nation that needs healing and coming together and I don’t think we can have a better person to lead us at this time than former Vice President Biden.”
Throughout the event, speakers such as Sullivan and State Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester), himself a retired U.S. Marine, also used statements and actions from President Donald Trump as a contrast to Biden’s actions.
Sullivan noted times in the past when Trump attacked former President George H.W. Bush and Senator John McCain for their service, as well as alleged comments he made calling fallen soldiers “losers” and “suckers” following a memorial honoring World War I veterans.
Sullivan and others said that while the bond of military service cuts deeper than partisanship and they said ready to help their comrades regardless of partisan affiliation, they’ve brought up how much Trump’s behavior differs from the norms they were taught in basic training, particularly in terms of responsibility. They say that has been key to why so many retired military leaders, including some that served closely with Trump, are now supporting Biden, bringing up specific leaders from various branches of the military whose experiences they might associate with.
Lastly, Sullivan says she discusses the issue of respect with her undecided veteran colleagues, noting numerous times throughout Trump’s life where he either disrespected or did not value the sacrifices of veterans.
“You serve in a context where you’re willing to give your life for your fellow marines and your fellow soldiers and your fellow sailors. All we expect is that when the President sends us into harm’s way is that it’s as a last resort and that he or she is doing everything they can to make sure we can succeed, that they have our backs like we have each other’s backs,” said Sullivan. “It is clear as crystal that it’s not the case with this president. Veterans are smart, and I think veterans see that. That’s why I think veterans are going to come out en masse for Joe Biden next week.”