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West Point graduates call on Rep. David Eastman to resign from office

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 1:30 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Dozens of graduates of the United States Military Academy wrote an opinion piece in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman calling on Republican Rep. David Eastman to resign from office.

“We give it as our fixed opinion that, as a serving member of the Alaska State Legislature who has repeatedly emphasized your status as a veteran and a graduate, you have discredited yourself and betrayed the values of West Point. We call on you to do the honorable thing and resign from office,” the letter reads.

The letter, dated Nov. 11, was signed by Justin Raphael, Ivan Hodes, William Edward ReBrook IV, Michael McClary and Chad Perkins, as well as 64 other members of the Long Gray Line.

The phrase “The Long Gray Line” is used to describe graduates and cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

According to Eastman’s representative website, he studied law at West Point and was a military police captain stationed at Fort Richardson from 2003 to 2011. He also led troops in Afghanistan, according to the website.

Eastman represents the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and is connected to the far right group the Oath Keepers, which is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of the largest antigovernment groups in the country. Members also have ties to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Eastman was in D.C. during the riots, but says he did not actually enter the Capitol.

Through text, Eastman responded to the letter.

“I find it a very good thing that as Americans we have the right to choose our own elected representatives, rather than those outside Alaska and outside the Mat-Su choosing our elected representatives for us based on their values and what passes for journalism in other parts of the country,” he wrote. “We can be sure of one thing today: If we do not raise our voices in support of the Constitution and the values that we hold dear, someone else will gladly speak for us on behalf of whatever values are dear to them.”

Eastman said he joined the Oath Keepers when it first started, and in October of this year told Alaska’s News Source that he “will always consider it a privilege to stand with those in the military and first responders who strive to keep their oaths to the Constitution.”

The letter in the Frontiersman also says “You were present in Washington, D.C. on January 6 , protesting this fair and free election. You falsely blamed the day’s violence on “Antifa,” but it is clear the criminal acts were carried out by right-wing insurrectionists.”

According to the Washington Post, more than 120 people have pleaded guilty to about 130 charges related to the Capitol riot and there are about 530 other people facing more than 2,500 other charges.

In a follow-up text, Eastman wrote, “I stand with the 35,000 veterans and first responders whose only crime was pledging to support the Constitution and who are now being attacked for doing so.”

The West Point graduates in the letter say Eastman dishonored himself, the school and its graduates, and should resign from pubic office.

“We do not all agree on the direction this country should take. But we all agree that your conduct goes against every value you have ever claimed to have in common with the rest of the Long Gray Line,” the letter reads. “It pains us, especially those of us who were your classmates, to see a fellow-graduate conducting himself in such a manner. It is our solemn responsibility to demand accountability for such disturbing and dishonorable conduct.”

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