As the situation at the Standing Rock Native American Reservation continues to intensify, one Navy veteran says he's joining the Sioux Nation protesters in the fight to protect their land and water.
Sam Deering, a Virginia resident who is originally from Kentucky, pledged to participate in an upcoming protest with the demonstrators in North Dakota. Although it's been three years since he last sported his Navy uniform, Deering says that he became inspired to join after watching the events unfold with the Dakota Access Pipeline.
"The notion of putting my uniform back on, just to face off with other uniformed Americans looking to do me harm is honestly terrifying," Deering wrote in a Facebook post on November 24. "But the media and public silence on the gross violation of human rights, treaty rights, and our environment is what truly disturbs me."
Over 160 protesters were reportedly injured when police doused them with water cannons and rubber bullets a few days ago. Over the weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers issued the Standing Rock Sioux a letter stating that they must evacuate by December 5.
Deering says that he will participate in a Standing Rock protest from December 4 to the 7 with other veterans. Thousands are expected to be there in support of the protesters, including Wes Clark and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
"If you're a veteran, please join us, I don't have to remind you of the oath we took, and what it means to face a foreign and a domestic enemy," Deering wrote on Facebook. "If you're not a vet, you're still welcome. Either way, our communities need to be sending more people to North Dakota to resist this blatant insult to a modern world."
As of Monday, Deering's Facebook post has received over 46,000 likes.
After his Facebook post went viral, Deering launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his supplies and the transportation costs for the protest. In less than one day, he surpassed his original fundraising goal of $1,000.
A Plus reached out to Deering for a comment.