From Brianna Keilar for CNN.com
“I was screaming at the television,” an African American Navy spouse told CNN, as she watched peaceful protesters running from military police and law enforcement officers who were advancing on them near the White House.
Protestors were covering their ears with their hands and gripping their mouths as they tried to escape the acrid clouds of smoke and wafting pepper spray.
A short time later, as President Donald Trump walked to a nearby church to hold up a Bible for a photo-op, the reason for the melee became apparent.
National Guard troops deployed to cities around the country last week where they were a visible presence in communities. Approximately 1,600 active duty troops were brought to Washington — an extraordinary move — but not used. They have since returned to their home bases.
CNN Home Front interviewed 11 military spouses married to service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
They are black, white and Hispanic men and women, spouses of both enlisted service members and the officer corps, some of them veterans themselves, many with biracial children, speaking on the condition of anonymity to protect their spouses’ careers and the personal safety of their families.
The spouses uniformly condemned the use of military force within the United States and described being stunned — and horrified — by the images from Lafayette Square.
“We don’t serve this country to fight our own,” one said.”That’s not why they signed up — to take away your right,” said another.
“You know that they’re there on orders, but they shouldn’t be there. It’s such a war within yourself. It’s a contradiction,” a Coast Guard spouse told CNN.
Hearing military helicopters whir overhead in Washington, one Navy spouse of a chopper pilot thought, “That could be him. What would happen if he was asked to go as a service member to patrol against our fellow citizens?”