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Sunday, November 10, 2013


Today, being identified as a wounded warrior is a justifiable and hard earned  badge of honor.

I know firsthand that hasn’t always been the case.

On Veteran’s Day, there is no shortage of media presentations, editorials and store sales to commemorate the service and sacrifices of Americans, and remember those who have lost their lives doing so. Personally, I've never understood how a monster sale on washing machines, dishes, jewelry and couches factors into celebrating Veteran’s Day, but, hey, there is a lot I don’t understand.

Serving in the US military offers the opportunity to live at the pointed end of the spear, just as it affords new and challenging perceptions of today’s world. It pulls you away from your comfort zone and brings you face-to-face with the harsh realities of the world.

Serving in a wartime environment changes everyone, and unfortunately, often not for the better.

Today’s media is full of young, brutally maimed men and women. Their injuries, both seen and hidden, bear testimony to the savagery which they have experienced, and the price they will continue to pay, every day of their life. For the first time, the media is exposing America to the stark physical and emotional costs of combat, and the life-altering changes it demands.

Party line politics recently stopped death annuity payments and travel expenses for the families of those who had died in battle. Those same party line politics ground our government to a halt, as the world watched—in amusement.

Few would contest the fact that the American military is the most powerful and best equipped force on Earth. It is comprised of the sons and daughters of America, and it is to those who serve we owe our most robust and unfailing allegiance.

History teaches that it was a non-wavering adherence to party principles (over the well being of the people) which brought the once mighty Soviet Union to its knees, thereby altering the balance of world power.

The party line.

Congress has proven, time and again, that they are entrenched, incapable, and unwilling to function as an efficient governing entity. Their myopic, singular focus on their own agendas—from both sides of the aisle—guarantees a future which will closely resemble our recent past.

For me, it’s all pretty simple. If you want to honor those who are serving, or have served this country, as well as those who have paid for that service with their lives, that little yellow “Support Our Troops” magnet just isn’t going to cut it. They’re great, but the not nearly enough.

If you want to truly support the US military, you—we—need to elect government officials who will work towards the best interests of our country, rather than simply advancing their party’s agenda.

We’ve seen with startling clarity what happens when we elect politicians.

Perhaps it’s time to elect citizens.

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