This Vietnam Hero Thought Officers 'Shouldn't Get Involved in Presidential Politics.' Until Trump

A Vietnam War hero who once believed military officers, even when retired, should not get involved in presidential politics has spoken out and encouraged voters to back Joe Biden.

Charles G. Boyd is a retired four-star general who served 36 years in the United States Air Force, seven of those as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict. He made his comments in a video by the National Security Leaders for Biden group, which comprises nearly 500 retired military officers, ambassadors, cabinet secretaries and national security officials supporting the Democrat presidential candidate.

A highly decorated combat pilot, the only Vietnam War POW to reach four-star rank & a Republican.

Charles G. Boyd believed that military officers shouldn't get involved in presidential politics but this year is different... He understand the threat Trump poses to our democracy.

— National Security Leaders for Biden (@NSLforBiden) September 28, 2020

"A highly decorated combat pilot, the only Vietnam War POW to reach four-star rank & a Republican," the video calls Boyd.

"Since my return, I have been a Republican, but quietly. I fervently believe that military officers should not get involved in presidential politics, even when retired," he says in the video.

"But this year is different. Donald Trump's assault on the rule of law, which makes democracy possible, has been so egregious that I've decided to speak out."

The Vietnam veteran says that there is an alternative. "If we want a working democracy in 2024, we need to vote for Joe Biden this year."

He ends the video by saying that he'll vote for the Democrat nominee and hopes that those who are watching will too.

The group, which established its social media presence on Twitter in June of this year, published an open letter to Americans last Thursday formally endorsing Biden.

"We are former public servants who have devoted our careers, and in many cases risked our lives, for the United States. We are generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security leaders. We are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents," the letter started.

"We love our country. Unfortunately, we also fear for it".

We are National Security Leaders for Biden. A group of retired Senior Military Officers, Senior Enlisted and former senior national security officials on #TeamJoe.

It’s time to bring experience, respect and dignity back to the Presidency.

— National Security Leaders for Biden (@NSLforBiden) June 23, 2020

"While some of us may have different opinions on particular policy matters, we trust Joe Biden's positions are rooted in sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values," it continued.

Among the 489 signatories of the letter and members of National Security Leaders for Biden are Susan Rice, former national security advisor and ambassador to the United Nations, and retired general Paul Selva, a former senior military adviser to President Trump.

Earlier in September, more than 200 senior military leaders officially endorsed Donald Trump for re-election, citing his commitment to a "strong America."

"At present, our country is now confronted with enemies here and abroad, as well as a once in a century pandemic," the 235 retired military leaders wrote in an open letter.

"As retired military officers, we believe that Donald J. Trump has been tested as few other presidents have and is the proven leader to confront these dangers."

Biden Trump Supporters Wisconsin
Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump rally outside the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry on September 21, 2020 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images