If Tim Kennedy has something to say, there’s an excellent chance he knows what he’s talking about.
The 41-year-old Texan isn’t just a Green Beret, nor just an Army Ranger-qualified sniper who’s been all over the map chasing bad guys since his first trip to a recruiter the day after the September 11 attacks. Kennedy isn’t just a soldier in great shape; he’s a mixed-martial arts veteran, compiling an 18-6 record as a middleweight in the UFC, among other MMA leagues — all while in the military. He isn’t just a businessman with multiple companies — Ranger Up is a military-based clothing company, while Sheepdog Response trains clients in tactical maneuvers and self-defense. His face and fingerprints are all over shows like History Channel’s “Hunting Hitler” and Discovery Channel’s “Hard to Kill.”
There’s a reason Kennedy has the ear of millions, in other words.
Now serving in the Texas National Guard’s Special Operations Detachment, Master Sgt. Kennedy recently splashed into the spotlight again. This time, it was with a viral tweet about photos of National Guard members sleeping on the marble floors of the Capitol building after the January 6 riots.
A week later, Kennedy tweeted a photo of soldiers resting.
“I find it infuriating to see the outrage over our soldiers sleeping at the [sic] capital,” he wrote. “We have been at war for nearly 20 years. We have had soldiers sleep on the dirt floors of bathrooms in peasant villages. We have had soldiers electrocuted in showers built by local contractors.”
In subsequent tweets, Kennedy continued, “We have had our soldiers blown up, maimed, tortured, burned alive, and hung from bridges. But now there is outrage because our soldiers are sleeping on the marble floors of our [sic] capital. Wherever you assign our military you will find sleeping soldiers … But your pathetic virtue signaling that you somehow care about them is beyond disingenuous. Don’t pretend that you care for police officers now. Don’t pretend like you care for our soldiers now. Don’t only care for them when it suits your manipulative purposes. Care for them all the time. They are our nation’s heroes and the protectors of our freedom!”
The Pentagon authorized up to 25,000 service members to be in Washington D.C. to support the Presidential Inauguration National Special Security Event federal law enforcement mission and security preparations, as led by the U.S. Secret Service, according to the National Guard Bureau. The bureau released a statement after social media outcry of the images of National Guard members sleeping on the floor of the Capitol building confirming there is “appropriate lodging for when they are off-duty; the photos circulating are of them on-duty, in a designated rest area between shifts.”
Given Kennedy’s many deployments, he knows how it feels to sleep whenever and wherever possible. These soldiers were on breaks, he pointed out, simply trying to do their jobs.
“But not very often are we used as talking points, and that’s why I was so pissed,” he said. “But two sides of the political aisle are bickering over should they be there.”
Between all of Kennedy’s social media pages, he has a reach of approximately 8 million people. He feels a responsibility, he says, to speak up for his fellow soldiers.
“And I don’t got a lot of coward in me,” he added.
“I think there’s a sense of urgency and anxiety among guardsmen and women right now,” Kennedy said. “We’re citizens who love the idea that we swore to protect and uphold. We’re in a hard spot.”
Thankfully, Kennedy knows what to do in hard spots.
“I believe in ethics, integrity and morality,” he said. “I’m not ever gonna shy away about a fight for principle.”Read comments