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In the aftermath of the Dallas attack during a Black Lives Matter protest, my thoughts drifted back to the killing of two NYPD officers and an interview I did in the aftermath.

It’s been a year and a half since I gave that interview on Fox News. In that time, have things here gotten better or worse? I would argue that they have gotten worse, much worse.

The attitude of any group starts with its leader, this is not an opinion but fact. Our leader, the leader of the free world some may still argue, eight years ago could be found shouting from the rooftops promises of change. After a very slow start, change came for me.

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At nineteen, I got to see the worst side of humanity in a chain of events that will forever haunt me. Once I came home and started looking around I saw a different country than the one I signed up to serve as a United States Marine. Ever since, I’ve watched as my country slowly starts to tear itself apart from the inside.

Eighteen months ago I stood before a nation pleading with all of you and warning against well… things like what happened in Dallas.

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We are a divided nation in so many ways today. To see the level of violence and intolerance continue to escalate to a point where groups are actively calling on their people to murder others, both law enforcement and civilian, is intolerable. Calling for violent protests and destruction of property is intolerable.

These calls to violent action are undoing decades of progress. We have not reached a point of no return, but we are close.

Do not do this, do not take to the streets with a violent spirit and anger in your hearts. I pray that we all take a moment and realize how close we are to something much worse. Before any more loss of life or destruction of property we need now more than ever a leader to step forward and lead us to unity. My fear is that he will not.

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I’ve seen terrorism first hand in two different wars and I’ll tell you this… nobody goes to bed thinking they are the bad guys. The slippery slope from protest to hatred to cheering on violence is what happens when you look at the person across from you and forget they are human – with hopes and dreams for themselves and their family – just like you.

Dakota-218x300 Dakota Meyer served as a United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Ganjgal on September 8, 2009, in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

He now enjoys his time with his wife, Bristol Palin, and their children while remaining active in veterans causes.