Ret. Major General James “Spider” Marks issued the following statement Saturday in response to reports that a number of veterans will be traveling to North Dakota next week to join protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline:
“As people, including some veterans, are traveling to North Dakota this weekend, I would urge all sides to respect and honor our shared military service. Veterans are represented throughout local law enforcement, among pipeline construction workers, as well as the protesters. All of us, no doubt, have lost friends or colleagues and spilled our own blood to protect the American freedoms that we all cherish.
“I am concerned that the protests have grown, and will continue to grow, more violent and targeted against law enforcement and pipeline construction personnel and equipment. We all respect the right to be heard, but I implore all protesters to demonstrate in a peaceful and lawful manner. As brother and sister veterans, we should respect each other and our shared sacrifice.”