Veterans Write Trump, Demand Reversal On Executive Order

WASHINGTON, DC - Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are sending a letter today Donald Trump, today, urging him to repeal his executive order on refugees and visitors from the Middle East.  A dozen veterans, all of whom used interpreters during their deployments, point to the damage refusing entry for interpreters and their families will do, as well as the damage done by refusing entry to any Muslims from the counties singled out in the Executive Order.


The letter is being released by VoteVets, the largest progressive veterans group in America.  VoteVets, this weekend, garnered 47,302 signatures opposed to the order, including 7,734 veterans.


The letter is below.



Jan 30, 2017


President Donald Trump

The White House

Washington, DC 20500



Dear Mr. President,


We are all veterans who used interpreters overseas, to help us in our missions. Many of us served in Iraq, and used Iraqi interpreters. Some of those Iraqis are here now, some are not. Yet all of them, and their families, would have been shut out from entering America, because of your recent executive order.


When we heard that one of the first victims of your policy was an Iraqi interpreter, we could not have been more angry.


You have paid a lot of lip service to the idea of taking care of our men and women in uniform.  Long before your rhetoric, these interpreters were helping keep us safe, and helping us complete our missions.  These brave people put their lives -- and their families' lives -- at risk to help us. Many more are doing the same, today.  


Simply put, these interpreters risked more to help our men and women in uniform than you ever did, or ever will.  They did so because they knew that if they ever needed us, we would be there to take them in.


You or your staff may think that a solution would be to give these interpreters an exemption from your order.  That would not be acceptable or adequate.  


Our mission in Iraq, and the ongoing mission of ours to defeat ISIS, is dependent on people on the ground knowing that we value them more than the enemy.  When your administration forces seniors with health problems, mothers, kids, and more to turn around at the airport and fly home, or worse, detain them, the message in the Middle East is clear -- America sees no value in Muslim lives. ISIS and other terrorists could not dream of a better message to supercharge their recruiting.


Finally, in regards to the implementation of this disastrous policy, we are disturbed with how disorganized, and poorly executed it was.  No one had any idea what your policy meant. Border agents and customs agents were left to guess, without proper guidance. On Sunday shows, your staff seemed to be amending the policy, on the fly.  If any of us, or those we served with, bungled an operation as badly as you did this roll-out, we would be badly dressed down, at a minimum.


Given all of this, Mr. President, we are formally calling on you to revoke this executive order, and work with security and civil liberties groups to develop a policy that is consistent with our values and security, and see that it gets implemented in a competent manner.




Michael J Zacchea

Iraq Veteran, Marines

Brookfield CT


John Kulas

Iraq Veteran, Air National Guard

Euless, TX


Stephen Moyer

Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran, Army

Pottsville, Pennsylvania


Alan Petz

Iraq Veteran, Air Force

Peoria, IL


Paul T. Bennethum

Afghanistan Veteran, Army National Guard

Lakeland FL


Peter K. Pelayic

Afghanistan Veteran, Marines

Longmont, CO


Donald Martinez

Iraq Veteran, Army

Colorado Springs, CO


John B Tallyn

Iraq Veteran, Army

Portland, Oregon


Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton

Iraq Veteran, Army

Tacoma, WA


Jon Soltz

Iraq Veteran, Army

Arlington, VA


David Tucker

Iraq Veteran, Army

Seattle, WA


Joshua Brandon

Iraq Veteran, Army

Olympia, WA


Founded in 2006, and backed by over 450,000 supporters, the mission of is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.




Join our mailing list