Watching the testimony of the 13 Gold Star families this week regarding the needless deaths of our American warriors during the Afghanistan retreat debacle spurred a plethora of emotions.

I was choking back the tears while at the same time in a bare fisted brawl with my own angry demons as I stewed in my own fury over this worthless administration.

I was incredibly proud of these American moms and dads for not holding back in the telling of their stories. Stories that opened the door to let us know who these fine young Americans were.

Stories that laid out in detail how cold and incompetent this administration’s “leadership” really is. Stories of the lies they were told – and in turn the lies we were told.

The combination of my heartfelt sadness for these families and my anger at the incompetence all because Joe Biden wanted a photo op on the anniversary of 9-11 stirred the beast within even more so than when I watched the incompetence play out in real time two years ago.

Even more than when I watched Joe Biden check his watch multiple times as those 13 American bodies returned home.

Biden’s epic failures in Afghanistan, his refusal to admit the mistakes and his audacity to push a fake narrative of “success” onto the American people was beautifully destroyed by these still grieving families.

My heart ached listening to them, but I also swelled with pride listening to true Americans speak their truths.

And not a single left wing media outlet covered the testimony, which is just another example that Donald J. Trump’s bold statement that, “The media is the enemy of the people,” is a stark reality.

The anniversary of the 13 will always hold a special place in my heart. It is the day that I finally had enough with an industry to which I devoted 26 years of my life.

It is the day that I freed my soul from the fake media. I had seen the real face of my industry from the time Trump took office. I kept telling my wife that I couldn’t do this anymore and she just kept telling me that it was just a paycheck.

I accepted that for far too long knowing it was a lie. I fooled myself into believing that my local coverage still mattered. But that, too, was a growing lie because as well as I could do my job at the local level, I knew I was still feeding the lying beast and lining the pockets of liberal executives.

I had always told people that the difference between a reporter and a journalist is that a reporter collects a paycheck, and a journalist is something that you are from the depths of your core.

A journalist believes in the noble mission of telling the truth and holding those in power accountable on behalf of the people. To be fair but firm – always, no matter the subject of the story.

I lived that truth for two decades but it was no longer the truth under the Trump administration. Even before what happened in Afghanistan, I almost had a complete breakdown and told my wife, “This job is killing my soul.”

I knew I was living a lie and couldn’t bear it.

She finally understood and don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect her – or anyone – to understand what journalism means to me. I chose journalism to carry on the same mission I undertook when I put on a uniform to serve this country.

I saw them as one in the same: to serve the people and do so with an honest heart.

But when I realized it became a lie, I was dying inside and the events of the Afghanistan retreat was the straw that broke this camel’s back.

So I posted the truth that Joe Biden is a POS and noted in my post that I knew I would get fired for it and the next day I was.

There is more to that story that led to that day, but it was that day that sealed it for me. Examples of what led up to it was me working for free well into the night to get an eyewitness account of what was playing out on Jan. 6.

Everything I reported turned out to be the truth but my editor chose not to run the story because it didn’t fit the Bradenton Herald/McClatchy anti-Trump narrative.

Another example is Trump’s Save America rally in Sarasota that summer where the original online version was fair and accurate. However, the final version included editorial opinions inserted by my editor and I was embarrassed to have my name on the final and false product.

So the day I told our regional vice president of news that I refused to apologize for telling the truth about Joe Biden’s incompetence in a social media post is a day where I don’t remember a time in my life when I could literally feel the weight being lifted from my soul.

When this editor, who was a diversity hire in the first place, said I was fired because I was a  “poor” journalist despite stacks of awards and more importantly community respect for my work, I was overjoyed it was over.

I was also heartbroken, of course, to see an industry I had so much respect and faith in, turn so traitorous to the communities of which they serve.

I struggled with the concept of “quitting.” I kept trying to convince myself that I had to battle this beast from within, but I soon realized that idea was not viable. I could only tell the truth from the outside.

Any notion I had that I would be David to the media Goliath simply wasn’t working. I was being stifled, silenced and essentially stalked by the liberals that controlled content and had the freedom to shout louder than I was allowed to do. 

Liberal reporters were able to post what they wanted, but I was surrounded like it was Custer’s last stand.

And so began this incredible journey here at the Manatee Herald where the truth still matters.

It was definitely a moment where I could look to heaven and say, “I know that was you God.”

Make no mistake about our time here: We are at war with the lying mainstream media. We are at war with the liars, the traitors, the incompetent and the ignorant.

Our weapon is and always will be the truth. But you, my fellow Patriots, are the army that carries our Stars and Stripes into battle.

We cannot do it without you. Slowly but surely, the Manatee Herald is challenging the local media controlled by liberals and left wing corporations.

This is the home of Conservatives, Patriots and true Americans. This is YOUR home.

As one of those young Marines used to tell his father, “Movement is life.”

So in turn, complacency is death.

Keep sharing our truth with your like minded Patriots. Invite them to our free subscription, our social media pages and into our growing movement.

Stay vigilant my friends. Shots aren’t being fired – yet. But make no mistake that we are indeed in a war for the soul of our nation. Keep informed, keep sharing our truth and may God see that we are still worthy of His blessings upon this great nation.

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