We must uphold our promises to our veterans, just as they upheld their promises to us.
We need more veterans in Congress.
Congress today has fewer military veterans than at any point in modern history. But we are poised to change that. In 2018, more vets are running for office than at any moment in my lifetime. Because of the growing inability of Washington to deal responsibly with the threats facing our nation, veterans from both sides of the aisle are stepping into the breach. We need lawmakers who grasp the cost of going to war. And we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on these issues, leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of these challenges.
When I joined the Navy, I swore an oath to the Constitution, not to a party or even to a President. Too often, our representatives in Washington forget why they’re in DC -- to fight for us. I am running for Congress to return to a time when our representatives put country over party, service above self, and fought for opportunity for all. I think that’s a message that everyone -- Republican, Democrat, or anywhere in between -- can get behind.
We must fund our military to keep Americans safe.
In the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, I led a Combat Reconnaissance Aircrew in an intelligence collection mission against North Korea. Before takeoff, I briefed my crew. “Keep your guard up. We are facing an enemy that is still at war with the United States. They may think America is vulnerable right now, but that is why we are here. Treat every decision like your life depends on it.”
Today, we face our gravest geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile, North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear missiles.
Now, more than ever, we need decision-makers in Washington who understand the nature of these threats. We need lawmakers who grasp the cost of going to war. And we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on tough issues, leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of disasters.
we need to do right by veterans and their families.
We owe a debt of service to our veterans. That includes providing timely medical care, unfettered access to mental health services, and continuing education benefits. For service members transitioning back to civilian life, we must value them as assets to their communities, not liabilities. Most of all, we cannot allow families of the fallen to shoulder their burdens alone. We must eliminate the “widows’ tax,” and we must do it now. Families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty deserve the full range of promised benefits.