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Veterans Affairs

OPINION: In Defense of Atononio LaMotta, Decorated Veteran



Prima facie, I first met Antonio ‘Tony’ LaMotta a few years back, working as White House Press Lead under the Trump Administration at one of the many peaceful protests and prayer vigils in the DMV. Later, in 2021, I (Kristie Tertel) became the National Press Secretary for both Vets For Trump/America First and Latinos For Trump/America First.

Headshot: Antonio LaMotta

(All pictures reproduced with the express consent of the owners)
Antonio LaMotta

To be perfectly honest, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where and when we met as we have worked so many events together behind-the-scenes throughout the past 2-3 years. Let me tell you this. I am 4ft-10in, in heels, always lugging around at least two XL tote bags full of laptops, cables, phone chargers, notebooks, you name in- usually with one earbud in, logged into a conference call whilst walking, with a wireless internet network and printer in my backseat- 24/7. For illustrative purposes, I am quite literally a thirty-something ‘Dolly Parton’ personality politico with the personal rolodex that would make Elon Musk envious- it takes a LOT to intimidate me.

So, there I am, doing my normal ‘walk through’ as Press Lead to a prayer vigil in front of the Supreme Court jointly-organized by three different conservative caucuses from across the country- when I first meet ‘Big Tony’. First walking up to Tony, he has his arms crossed, a stern look on his face, wearing a leather jacket and khakis- completely unfazed that it was only 25 degrees outside. His position that day was to serve as a voluntary security detail for our lineup of VIP speakers throughout the eight-hour marathon peaceful protest that day. Very timidly, I introduced myself, flashed my official Press Credentials.. and then Tony opened up his big arms, put a HUGE smile on his face, and welcomed me to ‘the team’ with a big hug. This giant, intimidating ‘beast’.. was a pussycat. Within minutes, we exchanged brief introductions and have been the best of friends ever since.

In turn, it is only proper that I enlighten you as to who Mr. LaMotta really is. First and foremost, Antonio LaMotta is a God-loving family man- a father of three beautiful children, husband to wife Nancy, mentor to hundreds of veterans and artists alike and beloved friend to thousands throughout the world. Truth be told, within the first two hours of working alongside LaMotta, he asked me to join him in public prayer, before we all say down to eat lunch together- it was beautiful (and, to be quite frank, blissfully unexpected). LaMotta’s professional creativity, strong work ethic, unsurpassed dedication, Godly compassion, outgoing personality, kindness, positive attitude and unprecedented dedication to veterans have earned him numerous professional and service-oriented awards and a plethora of public recognition for his mentorship and life-saving philanthropy for decades.

Known as ‘Tony’ to close friends and family, this decorated Army Intel Veteran originally hails from Scranton, Pennsylvania. In 1978, he graduated with honors at the top of his class from Bayside High School- receiving distinguishing reviews from Drafting and Art coursework throughout his tenure. Immediately after graduating, LaMotta’s rare talent and unprecedented skill was highlighted when LaMotta was recruited by the United States Army, where he enlisted and assigned the singular post (in Germany and elsewhere overseas for intelligence work) as an 81-E professional ‘artist’ designation.

In a document  accompanying a Military Award and Special Accommodation-  a rare Addendum letter written by Antonio’s Commanding Officer in the United States Army, celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King, JR, the Commanding Officer is directly quoted, highlighting Antonio’s efforts in ‘using his own time in a creating a product marveled by all that looked on’. In his letter, LaMotta’s Commanding Officer added, “A special thanks [to LaMotta] for the many ‘extras’ you provided this unit by way of your talent and ability. ”Whilst serving his country, Antonio was stationed in Germany for many years- working alongside the nation’s best intelligence community, using his world-renowned artist tic ability to help plan classified missions and was seen throughout his service as an unparalleled ‘secret weapon’ against enemies both foreign and domestic.

Moreover,  according to LaMotta’s Professional website ( , “It was while stationed in northern Germany that Tony developed a passionate interest in the myriad of castles illuminating the shores and valleys of the Rhine River in West Germany. That study of those vaulting structures, culminated in him”, which resulted in his authoring ‘Castles of West Germany’– a best-selling book, that put the best of his collection of pen-and-ink drawings to match fact-based historical narratives of every castle featured between its covers.

Furthermore, The Cousteau Society commissioned LaMotta in the 1980’s to design, illustrate and screen-print their artwork. From their, his artisan business grew twofold, expanding to local Police Departments, Fire Stations, schools and non-profits that solicited competitive offers for his unique talent and artistry. Notably, Antonio is responsible for the complete re-design of the existing ‘Virginia Beach’ official logo- his signature work including the addition of the beautiful Virginia seashore. Throughout this philanthropic endeavor, Tony was assisted by local and national Police Departments, Fire Stations, Charities and various non-profit organizations in formally circulating that new ‘official’ logo design.

Accordingly, in 1998, Antonio LaMotta opened his professional, private studio- Antonio LaMotta’s Art Galleries– in Virginia Beach. This studio allowed Antonio the opportunity to design, mentor other artists, donate to charitable organizations, alongside allowing him the unique ability to pursue his penchant for painting. According to the studio’s official website (, “To date, his oil paintings have been sold nationally and worldwide, reaching such distant locales as South America, Europe and the Far East.” LaMotta’s artwork is on full display online and in-person in Virginia Beach and throughout the world. However, in his free-time, in addition to creating art masterpieces on canvas, Antonio is an infamous Martial Arts instructor and volunteers that unique skill-set to church organizations, non-profits benefiting Gold Star Families and Veterans, and teaching self-defense to non-profits- for two decades, nationwide.

More recently, LaMotta has been employed by Armada Hoffler Construction Company. His award-winning artistic ability and God-given talent has allowed LaMotta to be a member of the elite team of craftsmen directly responsible for building the luxury condominiums in Virginia’s tallest building- The Westin Residences. I have personally worked with LaMotta through many conservative non-profit organizations and political PACs and can personally vouch to his love for God, country and protecting our freedoms- even as a civilian-veteran. LaMotta volunteers his time to keep us safe behind the scenes. I personally have 24 stalkers and receive weekly death-threats from Antifa, so I thank God every single time I am blessed with the opportunity to work alongside my friend, and extended family-member, Tony LaMotta. Please consider supporting Tony’s Legal Defense Fund at, and today!

(Originially Published on: on January 23, 2021)

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