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WarriorWire | Matthew Thomas

WarriorWire | Matthew Thomas

NRA American Warrior is committed to telling warriors’ stories the way the warriors themselves want them told. “WarriorWire” is our conduit for the unvarnished, unedited reactions of law enforcement and military personnel to the mainstream media’s spin. This space gives them the opportunity to set the record straight, correct inaccuracies and just plain vent. 

How does it make you feel when the FBI targets Iraq and Afghanistan veterans whom they think may join extremist groups upon their return?

The fact that one of our nation’s top federal agencies has made it a practice to target returning veterans because of what the FBI “feels” they may do is very disturbing. When you look at the state of our country and our world, it would be fair to say that the veterans who have volunteered to defend our nation would not be the group of people that we in law enforcement should be focused on as a threat to the nation. 

Even more outlandish than this is the fact that criminals that we should be focused on are often times talked around or not called for what they really are. So rather than actually calling a terrorist a terrorist, and focusing all of our efforts on eradicating those people who would do harm to our nation and its citizens, we focus on those who swore an oath to defend her? 

I have been in law enforcement for more than 22 years, and as such I have seen my fair share of bad guys. As with everything in our world, there is always an ebb and flow, and this is true in law enforcement as well. The bad guys we face and their modus operandi, or “method of operation,” are constantly changing. In law enforcement it is crucial that we constantly assess and adjust to the bad guys to ensure that we are doing our best to counter their criminal activities. 

Would I agree that there are veterans who may be misguided in their beliefs and opinions? Of course I would, but you could say the same of law enforcement, politicians and any other class of people you care to identify. 

However, in a time when our nation’s leaders are so hesitant to label anything in fear of having to actually stand up for their beliefs and opinions, how is it that they are willing to single out the one profession that is tasked with the defense of the United States? In the recent past, we have seen clear evidence of abuses of power by the leadership of America in targeting specific political parties. I would say that this type of practice by the federal government is on that same slippery slope. 

I argue that the practice of targeting our veterans in an attempt to label some of them as criminals comes dangerously close to the appearance of steps toward tyranny by secluding those patriots who would actually stand against it.

Matt Thomas is employed with a sheriff’s office in Arizona, currently holds the rank of Lieutenant and has worked there for more 22 years. Matt has held numerous assignments, including patrol, narcotics, SWAT, training, academy, investigations, anti-smuggling, traffic and motors. Matt holds additional duties of a law enforcement trainer for basic and advanced officer training in tactics, narcotics, Mexican cartels and several other specialty areas of law enforcement. He has also served as an expert on Southwest border issues and the problems associated with the Mexican cartels.

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Rifle Association.

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