Former U.S. Marine Lee Carter speaks on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates for the first time, to talk about his deployment 8 years ago as a U.S. Marine to the earthquake-ravaged country of Haiti, and to denounced Trump’s “shithole countries” racist remarks. Thank you to Del. Carter for his service to our country, for relating this powerful story of America at its finest, and for speaking out against the worst of America currently besmirching the Oval Office.
Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr Speaker I rise for the point of a personal privilege…I recognize how unusual it is for a freshman to be speaking on the floor this early in his first session. However, I feel compelled to speak today because of some comments that were alleged to have been made in the White House recently the comments were about Haiti and El Salvador and several African nations. And today, for those who are unaware, is the eighth anniversary of the Port-au-Prince earthquake in Haiti. This is an earthquake that killed 200,000 people and it’s an earthquake that that got a response from the US government, including the deployment of multiple US military units — my own included.
I deployed to Haiti with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of relief efforts after that earthquake. I personally saw what the lives of those folks down there are like. I saw the hardships that they face. So I understand just how important it is for people who want to come here from Haiti and from the other nations like Haiti, to come here and have a better life for themselves and their children’s. And I would like to relate a story to the body from my experience down there.
One morning I was standing on guard at the gate to our compound in the town of Petit Guav. It was about sunrise and Mr Speaker, a young boy came up – I say boy, but he was about 15 maybe 16 – and he spoke English but not very well. He had to take a second to think about his words before everything that he said. And he asked me what my life was like in the United States. And I didn’t know how to answer because, Mr. Speaker, I didn’t know anything else; I had no basis for comparison. And then he asked me something that stuck with me forever, Mr. Speaker; he asked me how a Haitian citizen can join the United States Marine Corps. And that is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. [Applause]