Congressman and Iraq War veteran Ruben Gallego took Joe Scarborough to task on Monday after the Morning Joe co-host criticized “young men” of today for staying home “playing video games” instead of enlisting in the military.
“Young men in the 1940s liberated Europe from Nazism and the Pacific from the Japanese Empire. Today, too many stay home playing video games,” Scarborough tweeted on Monday morning.
Gallego, a Democratic congressman from Arizona who served as a Marine in Iraq, fired back hours later, saying: “It is ironic you say this on Purple Heart Day. My Marine Corps Company had 48 Purple Hearts, almost all were millennials. #purpleheartday”
Some critics on Twitter were quick to point out that Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who announced last month that he was leaving the GOP party to become an independent, never served in the military himself.
Others accused Scarborough of glorifying or encouraging war.
Gallego made headlines late last year for his decision to oppose then-President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis as defense secretary.
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Despite blowback from his fellow combat veterans, Gallego told The Washington Post in December 2016 that he stood by his choice, explaining in an op-ed for the newspaper that his stance “was motivated not by political considerations but by concern for the enduring American principle of civilian control of the military.”
“Banning any qualified person from serving their country, because of who they are is both discriminatory and bad national security policy. @realDonaldTrump will never understand complex military needs. He doesn’t have the experience or intellectual capacity to learn,” Gallego said in a series of tweets.
“It is also ironic that @realDonaldTrump who did everything to avoid Vietnam is stopping Trans people who want to serve,” he continued. “Let’s look what is going on here. @realDonaldTrump is an impotent leader. He is using fear of Trans community to score political points. Make sense now why @realDonaldTrump admires Putin. Both use fear of LGBTQ community to keep control of their base.”