tv Rep. Derrick Van Orden Profile Interview CSPAN February 23, 2023 2:07pm-2:16pm EST
i saw the government -- liberal government could play in a positive way as we deal with these economic challenges of working people, and lower income individuals who need assistance from the government. i think that the civic participation piece is really at the core of why i am a democrat, inclusive government, participation in government, participation in voting, lowering the barriers, participation in our democracy is all why i became a democrat at 18 years old and i'm still a democrat. >> favorite artist, music? rep. mullin: wow. challenging question. you know, i am so old school. i am going to go back to my early dj days and run dmc, which the younger staff here may not even know that reference. but i was, when i was doing my
dj work as a local dj, inspired by run dmc and early hip hop that dates back to the 80's, that was before their generation . i would say more broadly, u2 is my favorite band of all time and i hope to see them. i think they are back on the road pretty soon. i look forward to seeing them. >> derrick van orden represents wisconsin third edition -- congressional district, one of 80 new faces in the house with a one hundred 18th congress. he talks to c-span about influences on his political beliefs, his military service, and what he does daily in the house chamber. rep. van orden: [indiscernible] i wear that to show folks i am a veteran. it is a big part of who i am as a person, i think it is important we have more military members in congress. we bring a very unique
perspective, which i think it is time we get a little, i think we have some people here that have skin in the game and understand what this case should -- decision-making really affects the world and parts. you are able to put something above yourself, like the mission at the mission being america, we prove as members of the military, and we could use more of that in washington. >> will you wear both all the time? rep. van orden: yeah, i think. it is nice just to be able to have representation for the veterans committee to hear congress. and wearing the congressional pin gets you in the door a lot easier. >> tell us about your military service. what proctored you to join? -- prompted you to join. rep. van orden: i joined on a lark, i clean toilets, then painted, then decided to become a medic, grossman and i found out about the seal teams and
decided to come a seal on the mark. turns out that was my life's calling. i want update 26 years, 21 as a seal. i did a deployment, i spent about 60 years away from home. in training, and i was very happy to have been able to do that. and i served in the capacity of a trip chief. i was in charge of about 126 people. >> you said on the lark, explain. rep. van orden: one night i told my buddy let's join the marine corps, and i look over the morning and i called them up and said i want to join the navy, the marine corps. so i drove him and took them to the creek -- recruiter and that's how i got into the navy. there were three guys who joined the navy to be sealed. that was not something i was familiar with. they said hey, you get guns and you drive fast boats and to get a parachute, and you scuba dive,
an essay ok, i'll go do that. and so i did. >> tell us about that experience, being a navy seal, you have alluded to some of the things that you do. but i mean, it's played to those that don't understand what it is to be a navy seal, every day. rep. van orden: honest-to-goodness, the vast majority of the time being seal is not that fun. your call, carrying heavy stuff, people tried to kill you, like spending time away from home. but you are part of an incredibly dedicated group of professionals that are focusing on a single mission. so i learned in the seal teams how to build real cohesive teams, how to get together with people who may not say -- think the same by about everything, but being able to put the goal above your own personal wants and needs, to put aside your physical needs, to put aside your physical comfort and your wants to make sure that you can fulfill a mission. it was an incredibly rewarding experience. >> and you did life combat
tours. where were you? rep. van orden: asset -- afghanistan, iraq, bosnia-herzegovina. >> what were those expenses like? rep. van orden: they can wear on you. i had some of my friends killed from 9/11 on, about 50 of my friends. i'm only 53 years old. that really brings home the seriousness. i saw my friend die in afghanistan listening to his wife cried through a satellite phone in his ear because she knew he would -- she would never seek her husband again. that brings on the seriousness. people legislate and they don't understand the long-term or short-term ramifications of these policy decisions. we see that over and over and over again. it is time to stop. we can't say that we need to get out of afghanistan so quickly that we abandon thousands of american citizens and our allies, then the next day get involved into another conflict where we don't have any type of entrance, we need to know what
we need want -- want to achieve before we pour american resources into this conflict. >> were you there when they decided to withdraw? rep. van orden: i flew back to rescue american citizens, and i process folks who got pulled out of afghanistan. >> what was the role that you play favorite? rep. van orden: it was anticlimactic for me. i thought i was going to wind up on the ground back in afghanistan. we saw operations where eveready was pulled out with everything totally swirly. my friends pulled out all of our allies and citizens. the biden administration lied. and it is unconscionable that a president of the united states would do that sort of thing. no one has been held accountable for this. there has been zero accountability for the fact that we left it in $9 billion worth of equipment and american citizens and our allies. we left them on purpose to terrorists.
that is something that it's me looked at, very seriously, by this particular congress into the executive branch. needs to be some accountability for these horrific actions that were taken. by the biden administration. they are nearly unforgivable. i'm actually on the agricultural committee, the trent -- transportation and infrastructure committee and one of the committee. i trust my colleagues to look into the actions of the executive branch. i have the utmost confidence that we will get to the bottom of the six that took place. and i will focus on my district, focused on by farmers, focus on infrastructure, and something that is very near and dear to my heart, the veterans administration and the fact that we have horrible issues with suicide, with folks and many women that i served within our nation. that is my area of focus. >> have you heard from any of your buddies now that you have become a member of congress? rep. van orden: i have heard
from a lot of them, there are five of us in congress right now. a lot of them have to express the fact that i am the first navy seal to ever be listed. eli crane was also listed, and i beat him by a time zone. they wanted to see somebody who actually walks the walk. we have some fantastic former officers here, but the experience of a senior enlisted person and an officer are remarkably different. i am more of a rubber meets the road kind of guy. i'm looking for to bring those experiences on the ground, leaving our troops in congo -- combat. bringing those experiences, how you ask to get something from point a to point b in a timely manner here to congress. >> why are you a republican, what has shaped your political philosophy? rep. van orden: i was raised by my bra -- mother, she was very liberal.