At the end of August, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to give his one-time rival, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, his standard endorsement message. However, unlike most of his other tweets that include the same phrase touting GOP strength, the President substituted an attack on Cruz's opponent.
In his message, Trump took a shot at El Paso, Texas, native, Democratic Representative Beto O'Rourke. The President called out O'Rourke as "a disaster for Texas - weak on Second Amendment, Crime, Borders, Military, and Vets!"
I will be doing a major rally for Senator Ted Cruz in October. I’m picking the biggest stadium in Texas we can find… https://t.co/OeAPVvpUsq— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1535735341.0
The slam against O'Rourke's treatment of military veterans prompted one Texan to go public with her own Beto O'Rourke story. United States Marine Corps veteran Lauren Withrow also took to Twitter, on September 4, to tell a very different story of O'Rourke.
Withrow—who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)—reports for her local paper in Texas, in the 4th smallest county in the state. She describes herself as a small-town reporter, sports journalism enthusiast and single mom. She first met Beto O'Rourke when she interviewed him for her paper.
In a series of seven tweets, Withrow shared her very personal and painful story. Her message eventually made its way to Now This, who turned it into one of their videos. Activists like Alyssa Milano and organizations like Vote Vets have since shared Withrow's story as well.
Watch the Now This video here.
This veteran struggling with PTSD shared a heartfelt voicemail that @BetoORourke left for her to show the country h… https://t.co/818hNApkhy— NowThis (@NowThis) 1537276680.0
This veteran struggling with PTSD shared a heartfelt voicemail that @BetoORourke left for her to show the country h… https://t.co/zoodXUmM0A— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano) 1537294023.0
According to her Twitter thread titled "The Beto O'Rourke I Know", Withrow decided to research O'Rourke after hearing about his work for veterans.
The @BetoORourke I Know: I’ve gotten to know Beto over the last 9 months. I’m a Marine Corps veteran w PTSD, a sing… https://t.co/vUA5JXxYGY— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536101830.0
something Beto or his campaign has minded. I started researching Beto when I found out about his bipartisan work on… https://t.co/2h3KOQudmr— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536101879.0
After Withrow tried to end her life and before being admitted to the VA hospital and surrendering her phone, Withrow texted O'Rourke's campaign to ask him to keep fighting for access to mental healthcare for veterans.
After spending days in ICU, I was being transferred to the Dallas VA Hospital for mental health treatment. I texted… https://t.co/rAtdGq5PHB— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536101936.0
After being released from the hospital, Withrow found several texts from O'Rourke's campaign and two personal voicemails from O'Rourke himself.
my stay at the VA. When I turned it back on after I left the VA, I had text messages from Beto’s team & two voicema… https://t.co/xyifeA1RTd— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536101990.0
Withrow said the best way for people to understand the man she knows is to listen to his voicemail to her. She pointed out that his campaign did not know she planned to share his voicemail, but she felt she needed to defend him against attacks claiming he does not care about veterans.
and help. The best way for you to understand the Beto I know is to listen to one of his voicemails yourself. Beto d… https://t.co/AjoceDMUTW— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536102039.0
for Texans. I am grateful for every time he’s shown up for us, and I want to show that by showing up for him. So I’… https://t.co/TO0nexnMWc— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536102093.0
Withrow concluded her message by stating:
"That's why I’m voting for him in November. This is the kind of person I want representing me in Washington D.C. I hope you have the courage to show up too. Tell me about the [Beto O'Rourke] you know."
Update: Today I got to talk to @BetoORourke and his team after a town hall at Good Street Church. We talked about m… https://t.co/eqrMRUx6TB— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536982754.0
2/3 as I seek treatment, recover and heal from my attempted suicide. There’s still a long road ahead but being met… https://t.co/uUnj7OVrPD— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536982757.0
3/3 town in East Texas. I don’t carry a lot of pull or power. But Beto has shown up for veterans, for Texans, for m… https://t.co/7ElkbjW3kZ— Lauren Marie Withrow (@Lauren Marie Withrow) 1536982761.0