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KPBS Midday Edition

Midday Edition Special: Confronting Extremism Among America's Veterans

A graphic that reads, "Violent Extremists Among American Veterans, A KPBS News Event," Feb. 24, 2021.
KPBS Staff
A graphic that reads, "Violent Extremists Among American Veterans, A KPBS News Event," Feb. 24, 2021.
The role of military veterans in extremist groups has surfaced in disturbing ways recently. It’s not only the public that’s been caught off-guard by these events. Veterans groups have been slow to grasp the impact of extremist and hateful ideology on their fellow vets. KPBS Midday Edition brings you a special program on the issue of violent extremism among America’s veterans with expert panelists who offer suggestions for confronting the problem.

In recent years, the country has had to come to grips with the growing trend of extremism among military veterans. In October, two Marine Corps veterans were among 13 men accused in a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan. Then, we discovered military veterans were involved in the insurrection at the Capitol in January.

It’s not only the public that’s been caught off guard by these events. Veterans' groups have been slow to grasp the impact of extremist and hateful ideology on their fellow vets, and why they become susceptible to it in the first place.

Today on KPBS Midday Edition, we bring you a special program on the issue of violent extremism among America’s veterans with expert panelists who suggest some ways to confront the problem.

KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh has been reporting on the subject and moderated a virtual forum to discuss the rise of extremism within the ranks of America's veterans.

Panel:

Richard Brookshire is a former Combat Medic and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He serves as the Executive Director, of Black Veterans Project.

Pete Simi is a Professor of Sociology at Chapman University, specializing in right-wing extremism, social psychology of hate, and domestic terrorism.

Tony McAleer is a former neo-Nazi and founder of Life After Hate, which helps others leave white extremist groups.

Akilah Templeton is the CEO of Veterans Village of San Diego, which provides services to over 3,000 homeless veterans throughout San Diego County.

John H Clark III is a retired Navy Commander, as well as an author and Principal Consultant for The PIE Group.

This program is sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a major funder of the American Homefront Project. American Homefront is a collaboration between NPR and seven public radio stations that looks at veterans and the military.