Wife of fallen Navy SEAL, sister of fallen Marine assaulted by protestors outside Inaugural Ball

Marine 1st Lt. Travis L. Manion (left) was killed in Iraq in 2007. Lt. Brendan Looney (right) was killed with eight other military personnel during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2010.

Two women, who lost close relatives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, say they were victims of an assault by a mob of protesters outside the Inaugural – Salute to Heroes Ball.

The event, organized by 15 congressionally chartered veterans service organizations and hosted by the American legion, is the longest-continuous inaugural event for veterans.  The Ball was started in 1953 as a way for the newly sworn in commander in chief to pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipients on the night of the inauguration.

Amy Looney, whose Navy SEAL husband was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, and Ryan Manion, whose Marine brother was killed in Iraq, were invited to attend the event. The two women were brought together by their lost kin, who were best friends at the United States Naval Academy before joining separate branches of the military.

Although the two men were killed three years apart, the two best friends and former roommates were buried together.  The story of the two men was told in the book “Brothers Forever,” written by Manion’s father, retired Marine Colonel Tom Manion.

Marine 1st Lt. Travis L. Manion (left) was killed in Iraq in 2007. Lt. Brendan Looney (right) was killed with eight other military personnel during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2010.
Marine 1st Lt. Travis L. Manion (left) was killed by a sniper while saving his wounded teammates in 2007. Lt. Brendan Looney (right) was killed with eight other military personnel during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2010.

When the two women walked up to the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel on Friday night, they were approached by an angry mob of protesters outside.

Donald and Malania Trump dance during the first dance at the the Inaugural Ball - Salute to Heroes.
Donald and Malania Trump dance during the first dance at the the Inaugural Ball – Salute to Heroes.

“As soon as we started walking they all turned to us and converged on us and got in our faces were screaming really vile obscenities in our faces,” said Ryan Manion to Fox.

But it wasn’t until the event let out did the women say there were assaulted by the protesters.

“A man came up he’s wearing a mask and he kind of chest bumped me from the back and I banged into Amy and then a group of women came up and got right in our faces and started screaming obscenities not just in our face but a little boy that was walking by with his grandmother,” said Manion.  “They crouched down and got right in his face.”

Manion claims on protester even wrote on her coat as she was trying to leave the event.

“The thing we couldn’t believe was the hate in these people’s eyes. They were looking at us with such hatred and they had no idea who we were,” she said.

“I think it’s a defining moment in our country. We are divided but I think it’s our differences that make our country so great and if we can’t unite in our differences we’re in a really bad place,” said Manion.

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