PHOENIX — In the middle of the chaos, violence, and assault on democracy in our nation's Capitol, several combat veteran lawmakers stepped up in a big way, putting their training on full display as President Trump supporters stormed into the U.S. Capitol, shattering windows and trying to break down the doors leading on to the House floor.
Representative Ruben Gallego and his colleagues were in the middle of a debate before certifying electoral college votes when the mayhem ensued.
"I don't know what else to call it, but the terrorists basically came in and started pounding on the doors and started pushing their way in," said Rep. Gallego in an interview with ABC15.
Gallego's mind instantly switched from Representative Gallego to Corporal Gallego, as he put into action the training he had received as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Gallego stood on top of a chair and yelled out directions, pointing his colleagues toward the nearest exits as everyone rushed to evacuate the area. He also helped elderly and frightened colleagues put on their gas masks, as they exited the area.
"They're very simple masks but the most important thing is a lot of people are already hyperventilating, and if they had put their masks on while hyperventilating that could have harmed themselves," explained Gallego.
According to his biography, Gallego joined the Marines after college and deployed to Iraq as an infantryman. His unit suffered serious casualties after intense fighting in the region.
Gallego was among one of the last lawmakers to leave the House floor. Even once in his office, Representative Gallego opened up his doors to shelter several members of the national media who had been turned away from other 'safe zones' in the U.S. Capitol, and were told, "no press allowed."