With Memorial Day just around the corner, I want to take a few moments and reflect on what it means to honor those who have served and those who are currently serving this country by laying their lives on the line for our freedom.
I think it is wonderful that we have a national holiday to honor those who have given their lives in service of this nation. Where would we be if those faithful men and women had not bravely stormed the beaches of Normandy, given their blood in Okinawa, endured hellish conditions in Vietnam, or stood their ground in Fallujah and Bahgdad? The United States is only the great nation it is today because of the blood, sweat and tears of those in uniform. So many have left these safe shores and never returned. Many are all around us today, and they carry a burden most of us will never understand. I hope we take time this memorial day, and every day, to thank the men and women in our lives who have sacrificed in one way or another to protect our freedom, our land, and our lives.
But I have to wonder, our veterans fought bravely for us, but are we fighting for them? The 53rd district is filled with many veterans. We are so honored to have such a large number of service men and women in our communities. Given the great sacrifices they have made for us, the very least we can do is thank them by honoring their commitment and doing whatever it takes to protect their rights as veterans.
At the recent Coronado Forum, each of the candidates present was asked which Congressional committees they would like to be on. I was frankly stunned that none of my opponents, C. Mason Weaver, Michael Crimmins, nor Mari Fink mentioned the Veterans Affairs Committee. I was the only candidate to list this committee. With such a concentration of veterans in the 53rd I am convinced that we have a duty to fight for those who fought for us, and that your representative in Congress should be on the front lines. It seems to me that being on the Veterans Affairs Committee is the very least that a representative of the 53rd should be doing to serve those who served us. I am saddened that none of my opponents seem to share this view.
Of course, having a day to recognize those who paid the ultimate price for freedom is important. But I think we can best honor those who have died in service by showing active and real support for those brave men and women who are still among us. I am deeply moved and humbled by the sacrifices of each and every one of you who have served and are currently serving in the military. That is why I will be in the trenches of Washington and on the front lines in Congress fighting for you.
Thank you for your service, your sacrifice, your honor and your commitment. God bless our troops and God bless America!