Decorated U.S. Marine Oliver North spoke to a crowd of farmers and service men Wednesday about the commitment they share to hard work.
“They still carry way to much on their backs they carry helmet...50 Ib pack…and temperature is often well over 100 degrees,” said Col. North.
The Tulare Ag Expo Warriors dinner was an ideal venue to remind veterans that they have a unique skill set.
“They have these qualities, courage, integrity, loyalty, tenacity…the whole concept,” he said.
Vietnam and the Iraq war vets listened close.
They hoped to learn how the Ag Warriors Program can prepare them for careers in the farming industry.
“I went through a lot when I came back home I've been through the VA system so the system
does work,” said Sgt. Devon Mathis who was in combat in Iraq.
Vietnam War Veteran Sgt. Jonathan Turner agrees, the industry can build a foundation to build a better life.
“I grew up on a cattle ranch and agriculture gives vets opportunity to serve and give back to our country...to take care of so many Americans,” said Turner.
Col. North, known for the Iran Contra Affair and his accomplishments in battle...also has roots in farming.
“They're not looking for a handout, the government programs are great...for people who need them. But they would be much better off-- and business would be much better off-- if they gave them an opportunity to work in the private sector,” said Col. North.