The United States appears to becoming more and more polarized, as even American military personnel, on what should be friendly terrain, are not necessarily safer than they are overseas.
A U.S. soldier received a horrific attack from a mob of young men in a Philadelphia neighborhood on New Year’s Day. He had done nothing to provoke the attack.
Austin Freni, a 19- year-old member of the U.S. Army, had attended Philadelphia’s Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day with his mother and girlfriend, and was viciously assaulted as they walked along the sidewalk following the festivities.
Austin’s mother, Lori Freni, explained to a reporter that a “Group of 10-15 guys walked by me (making) derogatory comments toward Austin’s army jacket.”
Lori Freni struggles to make sense of her son’s beating. “He’s such a good kid. He did not deserve this. Austin’s in rough shape. He’s pretty banged up,” she said.
With undisclosed injuries and being treated at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City, Austin Freni will have a long road to recovery ahead. He was listed in good condition.
This is truly an outrage, that an American serviceman, serving to protect the lives and freedoms of all Americans, can come home to see loved one’s over the holidays and be physically pummeled by some of the very people for whom he puts his life on the line.
And this is not an isolated incident. Last year, former Marine and Bronze Star recipient Christopher Marquez was assaulted and robbed by a group of young men outside a Washington D.C. McDonald’s when he tried to ignore them when they began harassing him about the Black Lives Matter movement.
At least Freni and Marquez escaped with their lives. Many police officers, like those murdered in Dallas and other places, have not been so lucky.
Through it all, the lack of leadership by the Divider-In-Chief has made it all possible.
January 20 will hopefully usher in a much-needed reset.