Our nation's history is replete with evidence of leaders who served our nation in a military capacity.  Lest we forget, George Washington our first president was just such a man, followed by many others like Jackson, Taylor, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt and more recently, Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Carter, Bush 41 and Bush 43. But their numbers in Congress have been dwindling for many years, and now out of a total of 535 federal legislators, we have but a handful who ever served in our armed forces. Is this a problem?  Yes, as demonstrated in the past few days by the budget deal that dared to reduce veterans benefits and break a promise with those that have defended us, many facing severe injuries, disabled for life.  How can our military continue to operate the largest volunteer military in the world while our own government is sending a message that our government's word to our veterans is no longer sacrosanct???  

As Senator Johnson (R-WI) explained during a recent television, the Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) refused to allow Republicans to introduce an amendment to negate this section of the package, but unfortunately that is the nature of how things are done procedurally at times, but not without fallout. This type of raw politics that hurts our heroes is unacceptable, and speaks again to the shortage of veterans in our legislative halls. The national organization, Combat Veterans for Congress, is working to correct this shortage and if any group deserves the support of likeminded Americans, this is it. 

It’s time for our Orange County residents to heed the call, and let it spread across this nation.  The number one job of our government is our nation's defense.  If we fail in this, we will have failed ourselves, our families, and future generations of this country. As a Retired Marine Corps Officer, I do not believe that failure is an option. As an American, I pray our citizens will rally to our nation's defenders once again and now is the time to let those in the political arena who claim to be leaders, lead and like our veterans, show courage.  Americans must demand nothing less!! 

Colonel Gregory Raths, USMC (RET)

Mission Viejo


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