(WASHINGTON) — Current and former service members staged a rally outside the White House Monday in support of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Several hundred troops and their supporters attended the event. The veterans were men and women, young and old, some in uniform and some in plain clothes.
The demonstration was a mostly silent affair, with the veterans standing calmly at attention in rows. An organizer bellowed that each second of quiet was for every military suicide since President Obama took office. A second moment of silence was for each soldier who died abroad under the current commander-in-chief.
One protester held a sign reading, “Don’t let anybody make you think that God chose America to be a policeman of the whole world.” The line was paraphrased from remarks by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. regarding the Vietnam War.
The event concluded with an organizer parading the procession away, complete with color guard.
Ron Paul shares an unusually high percentage of supporters in the military compared to the other candidates, and it shows in his campaign funding. The Center for Responsible Politics reports the candidate touted more than $95,000 between September 2011 and January in individual donations from current and former members of the military — higher than any other candidate. Obama comes in second at roughly $72,000.
It is an attribute the libertarian lawmaker is quick to highlight on the campaign trail. As a former Air Force flight surgeon, Dr. Paul is the only former serviceman campaigning for president, now that Rick Perry is no longer in contention.
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