GREEN VALLEY — Arizonans came from across the state to hear from We Build the Wall founder Brian Kolfage in a Green Valley town hall meeting Friday evening.
Angel parents Steve Ronnebeck and Mary Ann Mendoza joined Kolfage, along with former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on stage at Quail Creek’s community clubhouse.
The largely enthusiastic crowd of approximately 400 attended the event to hear about Kolfage’s campaign to raise private money to build a wall along sections of the U.S. Mexico border.
Kolfage, a triple amputee, is the most severely wounded U.S. airman to survive his wound, started a GoFundMe page to build the wall after Congress refused funding for it. Within days of setting up the GoFundMe account, Kolfage has raised millions of dollars and captured the public’s attention.
Since then Kolfage captured the attention of Bannon and other border security advocates.
Kolfage, 36 born in Detroit and raised in Hawaii, was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq in 2004 when his airbase in Balad was attacked by rockets. He was lifted into the air and both of his legs and right arm were severed. Doctors believed he would not recover, but he walked out of Walter Reed National Medical Center 11 months later.
Mendoza’s son, Sgt. Brandon Mendoza of the Mesa Police Department was killed on May 12, 2014 in a head on collision on his way home from work.
He was killed by an intoxicated criminal alien repeat offender who was driving over 35 miles in the wrong direction on four different freeways before slamming head-on into her son’s vehicle.
Steve Ronnebeck’s son Grant was a 21 year-old convenience store clerk, who was murdered by Apolinar Altamirano, who was in the country illegally.
Altamirano, then 29, was a DREAMER when he shot Grant Ronnebeck as he was counting the change Altamirano had spilled on the counter to pay for his cigarettes at the QuikTrip near Stapley and Broadway, in Mesa. Altamirano pulled out a gun and opened fire, killing Grant instantly.
Senator Andrea Dalessandro attempted to stop the event for the triple amputee, who had been described by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords as one of the people she most admired. That attempt was unsuccessful, so Dalessandro then encouraged opponents of the campaign to arrange dining reservations at the community’s grill in order to gain access to the property in order to protest the event.
The event was temporarily interrupted by Brian Sanders, who first gained national attention when he was provoking attendees at a Trump campaign rally at the Tucson Convention Center during the 2016 election campaign. Then in 2017, Sanders disrupted the event honoring slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Bannon was awarded the Brian Terry Courage in Journalism and Reporting Award.
Sanders was escorted out of the Quail Creek facility on Friday.