‘COURAGE PERSONIFIED’: GOP Reps praised for defending Capitol

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Photo taken from Twitter via Keaton Fox, via AP

While the majority of Congress was swiftly evacuated to safety during Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, six heroic Congressmen stood alongside police to protect and secure the House Chamber. 

Notably, four of those six members are freshmen from Texas who won their first election to Congress in November and were only sworn in a few days before the unrest. 

Texas GOP Congressman Pat Fallon described the scene on Facebook as the events were unfolding. 

“I JUST SAW COURAGE PERSONIFIED!!,” he wrote. “We were in the middle of debate when Capitol Police came into the chamber and told us there had been a breach in the Capitol Building. At first, they wanted us to remain in our seats in the House Chamber. The breach must have gotten worse because they started to evacuate. Then the mob literally reached the doors of the House Chamber and the Police were short-handed and I AM SO PROUD that Rep Tony Gonzalez, Rep Ronny Jackson, Rep Troy Nehls didn’t hesitate!!! We augmented the Police and stood our ground!,” he added. 

“We will never be intimidated by any mob, regardless of their motivations.” 

He continued to recall the details of bravery that took place in the Chamber. 

“The mob reached the actual doors to the House Chamber and there was visible concern on everyone’s faces and yet we stood our ground,” he wrote.

“Tony Gonzalez and Troy Nehls were literally on the front lines with myself and Admiral Jackson directly behind them and besieged Rep Markwayne Mullin (who promised he’d be the last person to leave – standing guard while other members, both Democrats & Republicans were being evacuated to safety) and Ken Buck from CO was there as well. We broke off furniture to make clubs to defend the US House of Representatives.” 

“Ronny looked over at me and declared, ‘I’m not going anywhere!’ Tony and Troy looked back and nodded reassuringly. I remembered what Tim Grunhard (a center at Notre Dame) would say before a big game at home in South Bend. So I repeated it, ‘This IS OUR House! And we’re gonna protect it!!!’ No one flinched. No one!!!” 

He added: “I serve with heroes. My Texas GOP colleagues have been my friends and now they are my heroes!!!” 

“We then helped the police barricade the set of doors we were guarding with a large piece of furniture and we had stepped to the side to place it there and that’s when the small pieces of glass went flying. ‘SHOTS FIRED!’ someone screamed. ‘Rounds fired, rounds fired!!’ shouted another. Those rounds, if that’s what caused that broken glass would have struck us just seconds before.” 

Mullin appeared on Good Morning America Thursday to describe the series of events. 

“At that time, they were trying to come through the front door, which is where I was at in the chamber, and in the back they were trying to come through the speaker’s lobby, and that’s problematic when you’re trying to defend two fronts. Anybody will understand that,” he said. 

“You’ve got to secure the perimeter. And in the front there hadn’t been a breach yet, even though they were trying,” he added. 

Mullin recalled the internal conflict that occurred when weapons were drawn. 

“The mob was going to come through the door, and there was a lot of members and staff that were in danger at the time. And when he drew his weapon, that’s a decision that’s very hard for anyone to make and, once you draw your weapon like that, you have to defend yourself with deadly force,” he said. 

“A part of you leaves that day too. The first time that happens, you never forget it. And unfortunately, two people’s lives changed: that young lady’s family’s lives changed and his life also changed. But what also happens is that mob that was trying to go through that door, they left. His actions may be judged in a lot of different ways going forward, but his actions, I believe, saved people’s lives even more,” he added. “Unfortunately, it did take one, though.” 

These six brave heroes risked their lives to defend the House Chamber and, ultimately, the country. 

Markwayne Mullin has served as the representative for Oklahoma’s 2nd congressional district since January 2013, while Ken Buck has served as the representative for Colorado’s 4th district since January 3, 2015.

Tony Gonzalez was just sworn in as the representative for Texas’ 23rd district on January 3, 2021. 

Ronny Lynn Jackson was just sworn in as the representative for Texas’ 13th congressional district on January 3, 2021, after serving as the Physician to the President from 2013 to 2018 and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President in 2019. 

Patrick Fallon was just sworn in as the representative for Texas’ 4th congressional district on January 3, 2021, after serving as the 30th District in the Texas Senate since 2019. 

Last but not least, Troy E. Nehls was just sworn in as the representative for Texas’ 22nd congressional district on January 3, 2021, after serving as the sheriff for Fort Bend County, Texas from 2013 to 2021.