On Thursday, a group of Boston area veterans pledged their support for Joe Kennedy for U.S. Senate at a press conference held at the Puerto Rican Veterans Memorial in the South End.
The speakers discussed the need for stronger leadership in the Senate and Kennedy’s leadership on veterans’ issues as reasons for their support.
The speakers included two-tour Iraq veteran Paul Jacques, transgender combat veteran Hanna Tripp, and Marine veteran Tony Molina, the first Puerto Rican soldier injured in Vietnam and President of the Puerto Rican Veterans Association.
“The differences in this election year are clear,” said Paul Jacques. “I just told you about Joe, so let me give you some fun facts about Ed Markey. On Ed Markey’s first vote in the US Senate, on dealing with the issue of Syria, he was the only member of the senate to vote present. How bold is that leadership? To vote present for your very first vote in the U.S. Senate. It’s unacceptable. Ed Markey claims to be the peace candidate when in fact he voted for the Iraq War. Let me say it again, Ed Markey voted for the Iraq War. How is it that the self-proclaimed ‘peace candidate’ when you vote to send your men and women into battle? I’ll be clear: Ed Markey has not delivered for veterans, the same men and women he voted to send into battle.”
Said Molina, “I’ve always been impressed with Joe because every time he comes in, he uses the Spanish language to advocate, to say to us what he is looking for, and what he is willing to do for us as Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and Americanos. I personally endorse Joe Kennedy because again as a veteran, as the first Puerto Rican wounded in Vietnam, I know that Joe Kennedy will always be present for veterans, specifically Latinos and Puerto Rican Veterans.”
Added Tripp, “Joe gave me a voice at a time when our government tried to stifle it. And in doing so he conferred me the opportunity to be a voice for others. So, it was no surprise that when I was in Washington D.C. speaking out against the ban on transgender military service, it was Joe that was speaking and standing right alongside me.”