Omar “Crispy” Avila posed with Donald Trump Jr. at this past week’s NRA convention in Indianapolis. The photo posted to Instagram was originally taken down. Trump Jr. lashed out at Facebook Inc.-owned Instagram after the photo of him and the retired U.S. Army Sergeant was removed.
In a follow-up post to the original, Trump Jr. accused Instagram of enacting their bias by deleting a photo because he was in it. ‘There was nothing harsh or political in there and as usual it magically somehow ‘violated @Instagram standards’, presumably because I’m in it and that’s too much for the social media gods in California,” Trump Jr. wrote.
Avila took to Instagram with a follow-up post, as well.
I honestly don’t know why this picture was taken down by Instagram… Not sure what guidelines it violates But here we go again… Thank you @donaldjtrumpjr for always taking the time out your busy schedule to say hello to chat.
#maga #trump2020 #trump
The post and Trump Jr.’s accusation has got coverage from several different news outlets, including the far-right news and opinion website, Breitbart.
Here’s what you need to know about Omar “Crispy” Avila:
1. Sergeant Omar ‘Crispy’ Avila Is a Retired U.S. Army Sergeant & Wounded Veteran
According to an interview in Austin Fit Magazine, Avila shipped out to Iraq in 2004 for his first and last deployment. In the midst of an ambush, Sgt. Avila’s vehicle drove over a 200-pound IED resulting in catastrophic damage. With the IED hitting their fuel tank it sent Avila’s vehicle six feet up in the air, killing one. Being in a kill zone Avila climbed back in the turret of the inflamed vehicle and provided cover for his teammates.
After being thrown from the tank, Avila broke both of his femurs as well as suffering 3rd and 4th-degree burns on 75% of his body. His life-threatening injuries put Avila in a medically induced coma, as he got sent to the VA in San Antonio immediately after going to a hospital in Iraq.
After over 100 surgeries and 15 years since his deployment, Avila is alive and well. He is a recipient of the Purple Heart Combat Infantry badge as well as a thriving entrepreneur and social media mogul.
2. Avila Is a Vocal Member of the National Rifle Association
Avila’s run-in with Trump Jr. was not a coincidence, as both are vocal supporters of the NRA and the 2nd amendment. Throughout Avila’s Instagram, there are pro-gun pictures, messages and memes.
Avila doesn’t just blindly praise the organization which has recently been under fire not only by activists but also by government officials. The retired Army Veteran took to Instagram to state his frustrations with the higher-ups of the NRA.
In a post that featured a photo of a letter from NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to its board, Avila said the NRA’s top leadership is, “not looking out for its members, they’re looking out for themselves.” He also added:
We the people need to drain the NRA swamp and elect those who will stand up to defend our second amendment, protect the members, and most importantly select a group of individuals who aren’t looking to get rich of the backs of hardworking Americans.
3. Avila Is a Power Lifter & Champion for Other Burn Victims
Today Avila uses social media to showcase his physical development since the injuries he suffered in Iraq. One quick scroll through his Instagram account shows how committed he is to powerlifting as well as motivating others who have suffered severe burn injuries.
He uses social media to develop relationships with other burn victims as well as trying to lift them up. His relationship with Jadiant Quinn is commonly shown throughout his page.
Avila has also partnered with organizations to help out injured veterans and burn victims. For example, Avila teamed up with Sons Of The Flag to surprise a friend of Avila’s, Owen, with a new bike. Owen is also a victim of severe burns and amputation.
4. Avila Is a Vocal Critic of the VA
Being a veteran and a veteran who has suffered severe injuries due to combat, Avila has become an outspoken agent trying to improve and keep the VA accountable. “3 years ago when I walked into the VA to see my doctor about my wound reopening, she looked at it and said ‘you’re fine it will heal up.’ Two weeks later I had my leg amputated below the knee because a doctor that doesn’t work at the VA found cancer in my nub,” Avila wrote in an Instagram post.
This is just the start of Avila’s relationship with the VA. Along with missing his cancer, Avila wrote they gave him the wrong medicine.
Recently I was running out of the medication that keeps me alive, so I called 10 days before to renew it, they told me I need a new prescription from my doctor because my refills had expired, I called and she said it done. Well she put in the wrong prescription, a year ago she had switched me to the best medication out there. When I received the wrong meds in the mail I called her and they told that it was fine to take the old meds, she till I received my new ones. I told her no I don’t like the way them make me feel, well it’s been 2 weeks and I’ve yet to receive them.
Calling for change Avila expressed his concern with his experience and how he might be one of many. “The VA has failed me multiple times and I can’t imagine how many other veterans it’s failing everyday. The VA needs to fixed today,” he added.
5. Avila Is an Avid Trump Supporter
Avila’s relationship with Trump Jr. did not begin at the NRA convention in Indianapolis, in fact, Avila got to hear President Trump speak in San Antonio early in April.
Avila was even able to get a signed Make America Great Again hat by the President, a gift his friend Trump Jr. gave him. Of course, Avila’s relationship with Trump Jr. continued in Indianapolis where they ran into each other and took the picture Trump Jr. claims was taken down by Instagram because he was in it.
Avila followed up his original repost with a screen capture of an article claiming Avila violated Instagram’s standards with the Donald Trump Jr. photo, hinting at a future partnership with Trump Jr. “I can’t thank y’all enough for all the support. I’m fired up and we have some big things coming soon. Stay Tuned,” Avila wrote.