Rep. Josh West Responds to Anti-Military Rant

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Contact: State Rep. Josh West
Phone: (405) 557-7415

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Josh West, R-Grove, today issued the following statements in response to California high school history teacher Gregory Salcido’s anti-military rant in front of his classroom. The tirade was captured on video by a student and shared virally on social media. Salcido has been placed on administrative leave by the El Rancho Unified School District in Pico Rivera, Ca.

The student who captured the video said his teacher saw his Marine sweater and launched into the rant deriding the military, using profanity, saying they are not high-level thinkers, academics or intellectuals and calling them the lowest of the low. The student, whose father and other family members have served in the military, said he’s received death threats for sharing the video.

“This is a disgrace to the men and women that protect his right to free speech, so he can spout his opinion,” West said of the teacher. “I wish he would call the family members of Colonel Orlando, Corporal Grilley and Staff Sergeant Bellavia who lost their lives in Karbala, Iraq, on October 16, 2003, and tell them what a bunch of dumb ____s they were for joining the military.”

West, a combat veteran who served in the Army for nine years before medically retiring, served with the above-mentioned men in Iraq. West also served in Kuwait and Afghanistan. He was shot in both legs and his abdomen while in combat. He currently serves as the vice chairman of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee for the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He represents House District 5 in Northeast Oklahoma.

West relates the following statistics:

“I would also invite Mr. Salcido to come visit me in Oklahoma, and I will personally show him what selfless sacrifice is,” West said. “I would also like to take him to see my best friend, Command Sergeant Major, Jason VanKleeck, who after 21 years is still serving his country, I would like him to come speak to the soldiers under his command and explain his comments.”

“I think I’ve done well in life. I’ve served my country in combat and am now serving my state,” West said. “My wife is also a veteran. I should point out that she has two bachelor degrees and a master’s degree in counseling. I’m sure she or one of her colleagues she served with could give Mr. Salcido some free counseling.”