Sometimes, the good guys and gals win. Sometimes, the bad guys lose. This is one of those times. The historic SFC Heath Robinson PACT Act for veterans passed the Senate by a vote of 86-11.
But it was wild, it was emotional, it was dramatic, it was infuriating, and it was inspiring. It showed what is still possible in America if a group of concerned citizens are united, focused and motivated. And in this episode, we’ll take you inside one of the most dramatic and important political dramas in years.
Our guest in this episode was a key leader in making that victory happen. When, Senator Pat Toomey and the other Republican Senators that stood in the way of the PACT Act, he united the troops, stood alongside Jon Stewart, helped to rally an unstoppable force of veterans, and ultimately emerged triumphant. He’s a true leader and one we’re proud to call a friend of the show. He’s a humanitarian, an activist, and a badass superhero: Matt Zeller (@MattCZeller).
Matt is one of the leading advocates for veterans, for Afghan allies, and for America. He’s a combat veteran and Army Major that made it out of Afghanistan alive only because of the courage of his Afghan interpreter. And he’s been paying it forward ever since. Matt is the courageous Co-Founder of No One Left Behind, aTruman National Security Fellow, the author of Watches Without Time: An American Soldier in Afghanistan, and the newest member of the powerhouse team at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
Matt joined us on this show for Episode 138 and Episode 127 to sound the alarm about the imminent collapse of Afghanistan and the chaos that would follow. And now he’s back to break down the fight for the PACT Act–and update us all on the terrible state of Afghanistan one year after the disasterous American withdrawl. Matt was part of the veterans “Fire Watch”, a group of advocates camped out on the Senate steps pressuring the hold-out senators to pass the PACT Act. They served as America’s conscience–and inspired people worldwide. Matt has been on countless TV and radio shows, inside the chamber for the pivotal vote, and he’s somehow, still standing. Still fighting. And he’s back to break it all down for us in compelling detail. This is a pod that will leave you inspired–and hopeful.
Every episode of Independent Americans hosted by Paul Rieckhoff @PaulRieckhoff) breaks down the most important news stories–and offers light to contrast the heat of other politics and news shows. It’s independent content for independent Americans. Always with a unique focus on national security, foreign affairs and military and veterans issues. In these trying times especially, Independent Americans is your trusted place for independent news, politics, inspiration and hope. Stay vigilant, America. And grab a vacation when you can.
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-Watch video of Paul Rieckhoff and Matt Zeller’s conversation here.
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-See the full roll call with the names of the 11 Senators that shamefull voted NO on the PACT act for vets with toxin exposures.
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-Also check out new episodes of other Righteous Media podcasts including the B Dorm Podcast, The Firefighters Podcast with Rob Serra and Uncle Montel – The OG of Weed.
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