- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2017

A woman whose Navy SEAL brother was killed in Iraq in 2007 says she and another Gold Star Family member were assaulted by anti-Trump protesters while outside the American Legion Salute to Heroes Inaugural Gala on Friday.

Ryan Manion wrote an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday about an incident she says took place while trying to enter a veterans event on Inauguration Day in the nation’s capital. She, along with Amy Hastings Looney — whose brother was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 — allegedly faced down spitting protesters. The topic was also covered on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper since contributor Mary Katherine Ham is a friend of one of the women.

“We were pushed by a man in a mask hiding his face. Our clothes were drawn on with permanent marker by other ‘protesters,’ Ms. Manion wrote. “And we were called the most vile names I have ever heard as we entered and exited the venue. What the individuals who assaulted us did not know is that I am the sister of Marine First Lt. Travis Manion, and Amy is the wife of Navy SEAL Lt. Brendan Looney, who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Travis was killed in 2007, and Brendan in 2010.”

The Gold Star Family member added that it was imperative for Americans to find a way to “channel our collective differences” into something positive.

“I have friends who I love dearly on both sides of the political aisle,” she wrote. “Let’s celebrate the differences that not only define us, but define what makes the United States of America the greatest country in the world.”

Ms. Ham told her co-panelists on “The Lead” on Saturday that while the ordeal should not sully the reputation of all anti-Trump protesters, the story should be getting more media attention.

“If it were a conservative movement, we would hear a lot about it,” the pundit said, The Federalist reported Monday. “If you don’t think that the left has some prejudices of its own that can lead it very astray like it did last night in that instance, then you’re wrong. And if you think that that’s not part of the reason many turned to Trump, then you’re also wrong.”

Ms. Manion’s account of the event on her Facebook page has been shared over 2,000 times since it was posted Jan. 21.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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