Hosting Colonel Allen B West -Alexander Cullen


Colonel Allen B. West Speaking in the Class of 1944 Visitor Center(Photo Credit: Alexander Cullen)

Clemson Young American’s for Freedom (YAF), in partnership with the Young America’s Foundation and the Tiger Town Observer, hosted Lieutenant Colonel Allan B. West at the Class of 1944 Visitors Center on April 10th at 6pm. LTC. West served as an officer in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm as well as a U.S. Congressman from Florida. He spoke on the subject of foreign policy and the military preparedness in his talk entitled, “Protecting Our Nation Begins With Equipping The Troops.”

Clemson YAF staffers greeted attendees at the door, advertised free club literature, and informed visitors that West was accessible after the event for pictures. Dr. Chris Miller, the Dean of Students, also attended the event and briefly presented West with a handshake and a Clemson lapel pin before the talk. West began the event by defining the purpose of the armed forces as providing for the common defense and outlined their larger relationship to the function of government.

Protestors standing off to the side during the event(Photo Credit: Alexander Cullen)

Before the start of the event, several individuals stationed themselves outside the building and dispersed literature calling to attention controversial actions made by Colonel West in his capacity as a U.S. Army Officer during Operation Desert Storm. 15 minutes into the talk, the same individuals entered the auditorium and stood peacefully and silently along the walls of the room while holding signs highlighting similar claims about LTC. West’s character. West briefly addresses the protestors in part, saying, “Perhaps these folks would have rather I had let Americans die.” He went on to state that he was not bothered by their protest; in fact, he had joined the military for the explicit purpose of defending their right to do so. Allen B. West retired from the military in 2003 after taking part in the simulated execution of an Iraqi policemen who had an alleged role in a planned ambush against his battalion. He testified, “If it’s about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I’d go through hell with a gasoline can.”

Additional protestor(Photo Credit: Alexander Cullen)

The protestors made no attempt to disrupt or obstruct the event and left shortly after entering. LTC. West spoke for the remaining 30 minutes allotted to him before engaging in a lengthy Q&A with the audience. The interactions were positive and the questions for the speaker covered a variety of subjects including his experience with the military and Congress, his passion for military veterans, and potential solutions to modern foreign issues.

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