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South Florida Veterans, Trump Supporters, Share Opinions Leading Up To Impeachment Hearings

With the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump preparing for the first public hearings this Wednesday, South Florida veterans and their families shared what they thought about the political turmoil. 

During the city of Miami Beach’s annual Veteran’s Day Parade on Ocean Drive, many vets said they still continue to support President Trump.

Vietnam War veteran Charles McCoy is now 71, and was drafted when he was only 18 in 1966. 

“As far as Trump, I guess I’m one of the very few blacks, that, I really like the guy, but he’s doing some things that’s detrimental to the country,” McCoy said. 

He was able to go to college on the GI Bill and eventually started teaching civics at Miami Beach’s Nautilus Middle School.

Credit Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN
Former Nautilus Middle School civics teacher Charles McCoy holds up patriotic signs former students drew for him at the Miami Beach Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 11, 2019.

But he said even as a civics professor, this impeachment inquiry is the most political turmoil he’s seen since the Vietnam War era.

Besides President Trump avoiding the military draft several times, Trump also mocked former Arizona Sen. John McCain’s military service. McCain — who died last August — was taken prisoner during the Vietnam War. Because of this, Trump had said that he was “not a war hero,” and that he liked people “that weren’t captured.”

“John McCain was a war hero, and you know that’s one strike against Trump,” McCoy said.

“Then veterans who were born elsewhere, who’ve given, sacrificed their lives... he’s made a mock of them.”

According to the Migration Policy Institute, today 2.4 million U.S. veterans are either U.S.-born children of immigrants or were born outside the United States. That accounts for 13 percent of all U.S. veterans. 

Retired Sgt. Major Jesus Mojica lives in Miami and served in the U.S. Army for 28 years. He said he’s a Republican and supports President Trump — but mocking John McCain crossed a line. 

“That’s one of the areas I disagree with. It’s all politics, you know, he didn’t like him because he was doing things that he didn’t want him to do,” Mojica said. 

Credit Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN
Students of the Lee Koon Hung Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu Association dance during the Miami Beach Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 11, 2019.

He said despite the whistleblower complaint sparking the first round of public hearings against the president this week, he doesn’t see the issue for impeachment. 

“We’re not getting attacked here in America. So he’s doing what he’s supposed to do,” Mojica said. 

“The Democrats, from the beginning they want him to leave. Now they’re impeaching him, ridiculous impeachment. Let the guy alone.”