Veterans gather in Chandler for Jan. 6 hearing watch party

The veterans came to the watch party with an open mind, their service to this country front and center.
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 9:52 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A group of local veterans came together Thursday evening to watch what’s likely to be the last January 6th Committee Hearing for a while. For some, it was emotional. For others, it was about the camaraderie.

About two dozen veterans and their families gathered in the back room of VFW Post 7401, named for Senator John McCain. “They’re making a good case,” Chad Flannery, a combat veteran.

“I wanted to see what we’re headed toward,” Frank Thompson, a Vietnam veteran, said.

They came with an open mind, their service to this country front and center. “We are a microcosm of the diversity that lives and breathes in America,” Joanna Sweatt, an Iraq War veteran, said.

Sweatt spent ten years in the Marine Corps; after that, it was advocacy work and, more recently, helping organize veterans. She’s now with Common Defense, a group that represents progressive veterans. Sweatt also helped put together this event.

“Veterans have really been just flabbergasted at all the evidence that has come out in regards to what happened on January 6th and so having these watch parties allows us to come together in comradery. I know a lot of us are stressed out by it and have been stressed out at the visuals of it,” Sweatt said.

Arizona’s Family asked Sweatt about the veterans that participated in the January 6th insurrection. She said that was also part of the conversation. “Providing a space where they can unravel their feelings about it, really,” she explained.

While some say the former president should face charges, others don’t believe it will happen. “We always hear no one is above the law we will see that we will have a whole administration above the law,” Thompson said.

Former President Trump has not made any public comments about the hearing, which could happen Friday when he stops in Arizona. He’ll be in Prescott Valley, campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.