PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Protecting peaceful protesters – that’s why the group Wall of Vets has now become another fixture at the protests in downtown Portland.
The Wall of Vets says their mission and message is simple: they support peaceful protesters and are standing as a shield between them and those they say are violating those rights.
We’ve seen the Wall of Moms, the Wall of Dads, and now, the Wall of Vets – a group of U.S. military veterans standing together as a human wall to protect peaceful protesters.
“We’re here as progressive vets and we haven’t had a voice before and I think we’re unified now to stand for what we feel is right,” said Tessa Terry, a veteran and the chapter organizer for the Wall of Vets in Portland.
She says focus needs to be turned back to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It’s upsetting to see what’s happening to the citizens and even more upsetting that the federal troops are here,” she said.
Her husband LeShan Terry, who is also a veteran, joins her and the other veterans out at the protests every night.
“It’s to show that it’s not violent on our side and we’re being agitated against and the Wall of Veterans who stand at parade rest is showing that you are shooting at us and we are not violent,” he said.
The two along with their fellow veterans have been taking the tear gas for more than 50 nights.
They are expecting a baby, but they say it’s worth it.
“I try to stay there as long as I can, but I know it could have serious side effects so I try to stand back and watch my troops and it makes me proud that they know what they are standing for and they are continuing their oath,” Tessa said.
The thing they say that keeps them coming out here night after night is the belief that if they just keep holding on, it means a better future for their children.
“So they have a better America to live in than we have. That’s all I want, you know, because we do have children and they are black and brown and we’re here for them,” LeShan said.
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