Have you heard of Operation American Spring?

That’s the name of a planned march on Washington, D.C., on May 16.

Retired U.S. Army colonel Harry Riley is calling upon millions of patriots to march upon Washington D.C. to remove Pres. Obama, VP Biden, AG Eric Holder, Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, and Reps. John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from office.

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Riley calls it “OPERATION AMERICAN SPRING – Beginning Of Tyranny Housecleaning” and conceives of three main phases to the plan:

  1. Field as many as ten million unarmed patriots to peacefully assemble in Washington, D.C.
  2. At least one million of the assembled 10 million to stay in D.C. as long as it takes to see the removal from office of Obama, et al.
  3. Principled politicians like former Congressman Allen West and former Sen. Jim DeMint; Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul; Reps. Trey Gowdy and Pete Sessions; Gov. Scott Walker; and Dr. Ben Carson to comprise a tribunal to convene investigations and recommend appropriate charges against politicians and government employees who have violated the Constitution.

But my friend John J. Molloy, Vietnam War veteran and chairman of the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition, invokes the tragedy of the Bonus Army and urges caution.

Bonus Army

In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, ten thousand unemployed U.S. military veterans of World War I converged on Washington, D.C., to demand the cash bonus promised to them by the “bonus certificates” they’d been issued after the war.

From late May to mid-June, 10,000 veterans occupied America’s capital, camping in tents and wooden shacks, with tens of thousands more on their way. But the U.S. Senate rejected the Bonus Army’s demands.

On July 16, 1932, near midnight, President Herbert Hoover ordered the military to evacuate the veterans from downtown Washington, D.C.

General Douglas MacArthur was put in command; his major aide was future general and U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower. More than 200 calvarymen, among whom was the future general George Patton, 400 infantrymen, and tanks advanced into the Bonus Army camp. Soldiers armed with bayonets and wearing gas masks, without warning, hurled tear gas at the vets.

Bonus Army tanks

The vets were driven from their tents. The soldiers burned the tents, wooden shacks, and their contents. The vets were driven across the bridge. General MacArthur ignored an order not to pursue them. Hoover, for his part, retired to bed.

The veterans could not believe that the U.S. military would turn against fellow soldiers and that their countrymen would not support them.

Here’s a video on the Bonus Army. (Read more about them on Wikipedia.)


Here’s an email from John Molloy urging a revision of the planned Operation American Spring:

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The protest  scheduled for May 16th about a week before ROLLING THUNDER, hopes to have 10 million veterans gathered in protest and desires that 1 million remain in DC until their objectives are attained.   I have concerns that this administration would love to get us all in one place and haul us away for good or worse. We cannot allow ourselves to be hamstrung at the outset Not putting all our eggs in one basket is a good idea).

I think that it would be better to conduct protests at the local offices of representatives and senators on that day while the leadership conducts a press conference in DC to note the solidarity of the effort.  Given the state of economy and the government’s demeanor, I suspect that it might be better to do this countrywide rather than in one place.

We cannot trust the CinC not to do worse [than what Pres. Hoover did to the Bonus Army of 1932].  Please give the plan very careful consideration. If we are perceived as a threat and you may be certain that there would be government operatives in the crowd who would incite an adverse response for the sake of publicity to justify their actions. Having engaged in numerous protests on behalf of our POWs, the people in authority get very touchy and members of law enforcement sometimes get belligerent (just doing their job).


Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.