Today is a day we should take time to reflect. Often times, we get so caught up in life that we forget to take stock over the things that make our lives what they are. Across the United States, there are men and women who you likely know that served the United States in the Armed Forces. They are our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. They are our co-workers, our friends, and our neighbors. Whether in recent history, or memories long past, they felt the call to serve and stood up to raise their right hand to serve and protect the people and the Constitution of the United States.
For that I am eternally grateful.
Washington, D.C. and the political elite, however, have created a situation that dishonors the intent of those men and women who have stepped forward. Senators, Congressmen, and Presidents have used these individuals as pawns in a way that becomes disrespectful to the lives and sacrifices of so many.
As our representatives give in to the military war lobby, we find ourselves in never ending conflicts around the globe. We get involved in nation building, regime change, and “police action” that cost more than just our treasure, but our youth. Upon their return from the latest conflict, these men and women are often torn either in body or spirit, often both. This government further fails them by forgetting them and offering simple platitudes of thanks on days like today. While they suffer both abroad and then as they transition into civilian life, they are forgotten, so long as the campaign coffers remain full.
They fail to address the backlog of the Veteran Administration. They fail to serve those who gave all they had, and then pushed the extra mile. They leave an environment where an average of 22 veterans per day end their own lives as they face this hardship at home.
It is time for accountability and action. We can no longer afford more flag draped coffins arriving at Dover Airfield. We can no longer afford fathers missing their children’s births. We can no longer afford the civilian lives that are ruined by our interference, seeding hate and discontent around the world.
I offer on this Veterans Day that we commit ourselves to change.
- We must stop creating more combat torn veterans. To do this we must ensure the only time our military is ever used is in defense of the United States. Not nation building. Not regime change.
- We must end the current conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.
- We must address the backlog of veterans currently waiting and dying on a wait list.
- We must address the problem of homelessness affecting many veterans across the country.
- We must address the corruption at the VA that has directly resulted in death.
If we truly want to thank them, we need to ensure that when they step forward on our behalf, that we keep them from harm’s way unless we are directly threatened or under attack. It takes more than a yellow ribbon bumper sticker to support those who serve.
We must also replace anyone who has continued to vote for more war, especially those who never stepped forward themselves. Men like Senator Orrin Hatch, who over the last 40 years, have continually voted to send our young men and women overseas to interfere in other countries. Interfering without any notion of defense of our country.
I thank everyone who had the courage to step forward and take the oath and I will always do what I can to speak out against a government willing to destroy your lives and ignore the problems you face.
Let us stand together and send a message that we will no longer accept another situation of Taps being played over a grave site where we must question why that soldier, Marine, airman, or sailor was sent in the first place.