A group of Iraq War Veterans wants to send a message of unity to all Americans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Boot Campaign, an organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families, orchestrated the video.
The 3-minute video shows a number of veterans talking about the time while serving in the military. They offer perspective on the difficulties of life during war versus life during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the Iraq War veterans featured in the video is the author of Always a Soldier, Rob Smith. He joined Fox & Friends to talk about the video.
When asked about the purpose of the video, Smith said, “We really want to send a message of strength, of togetherness, to America as we’re dealing with this coronavirus pandemic. And we wanted it to come from Veterans. So what we were trying to do was to let people know that through our experience of veterans to give a voice to people who have been through some rough times ourselves.”
Smith explains that he experienced his fair share of hardships while deployed overseas. “When I was first deployed to Iraq, I didn’t have a shower for a month,” he said. “I didn’t have a hot meal for a month. I slept on the ground in Iraq for about six months out of my deployment. So we know rough times.”
Because so many Americans continue to struggle, Smith says he and other veterans hope to offer words of encouragement. “There are a lot of Americans that are really struggling with the coronavirus pandemic,” he said. “There’s a lot of Americans that need a more positive message. And we figued what better way to give Americans a positive message than from veterans who’ve served.”
Smith explains that his overall goal is to encourage Americans to stay mentally tough in these hard times. “I think that for me, personally, what I want to tell people who are going through a rough time right now is that mental toughness is as good as physical toughness sometimes as well. Like, we had to do a lot of mental toughness. We had to be mentally tough to get through our deployments and to get through all the things that we got through as soldiers. And we want to encourage Americans to do that as well.
In conclusion, Smith hopes the message unites people in these politically polarized times. “Since the coronavirus pandemic has become so politicized, we want to encourage people to come together. I’m pretty sure all of the veterans in the video have wildly diverse political beliefs,” he said. “But we all wanted to come together as Americans to have the same message. And I think that this is a time where we can come together as Americans to get through the pandemic.”