|Harlingen, Texas, January 25, 2010 - There are an estimated 27 million men and close to two million women who are veterans or serving on active duty in the armed forces of the United States. They rank among the most patriotic of our citizens, are predominantly conservative in their political ideas and in recent years tend to be moving away from membership in either the Democrat or Republican Party. We sent a call out to those veterans who were now among the ranks of independent voters and asked them to tell us their concerns as we entered another national election year. They were asked to list and rank their top political issues. Though only the top three concerns were requested, most lists ran far longer.|
This collective group of individuals named national security as their primary worry. Though it was followed by a variety of concerns about healthcare, excessive spending, the economy, high taxes and immigration there was no topic that garnered more dialog than the veterans' observations that our entire national security effort is totally inadequate. It is not surprising that national security concerns were at the top of any veteran's list. What was interesting, however, is that topic was the lead concern by three out of five respondents and appeared on seven out of ten lists.
Ranking their concerns in order of group importance, the veterans listed:
- National Security
- High Taxes
- Excessive spending
- Lack of honesty, honor and fiscal responsibility by Congress
- Ear Marks
- Term Limits
- Energy independence
Charles Northington of Plano, TX is a veteran of the Army Air Corps and a retired Captain of the United States Public Health Service. He spoke of national security saying, “America and the world cannot allow Radical Islam to establish a caliphate or any other union of the Muslim nations. Such a union would guarantee another round of religious crusades in the near future. Also, we cannot allow international criminals such as the mafia or the drug lords in Mexico, South America, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East to literally take control of nations.
“America must develop means of stopping other nations and groups from supporting the Radical Islamist terrorist and the international criminals. Such programs must give some concern to relationships with non-radical Muslim groups or governments.”
Robert Pullease served as a Marine Staff Sergeant in Vietnam. He feels political correctness is eating away at our national security. “When you bend the rules to keep from hurting someone's feelings you end up endangering and infringing on the rights of everyone. These are not disadvantaged people. They are law breakers.”
A twenty-year Navy veteran, John Billings says the main threat to our country is inattention to national security. “We need full time security”, he says, “This means NOT giving constitutional rights to terrorists and not having rules of engagement placed on our troops.”
John Clayton, a retired Air Force Master Sergeant says, “National Security should be the priority always. I believe in a strong defense and to hell with the appeasement factor.” He would assure this needed attention to defense by electing only individuals of proven integrity and honesty “ instead of those in bed with the political correct crowd.”
A business development manager and a former Marine Captain, Dick Brammer says he wants to see, “A forceful anti-terror campaign, including keeping Gitmo open and no civilian trials for terrorists.”
Many of the veterans called for governmental action against CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations) calling it a known terrorist sympathizer. They also want the government at all levels to admit we are at war with Islamic terrorists and end the political correctness that surrounds all actions related to these people who are engaged in an act of war against our country.
Grant Beck is a retired Marine Sergeant Major from Jacksonville, NC. He wants us to get someone with a backbone to run for office. He wants to see his leaders to “Tighten up all borders and get the immigration situation under control.” He also wants our leadership “Standing up straight and with a steady gaze, willing to spread the word around the world that this is the greatest nation on earth.”
Gale Gabriel is an Air Force veteran and independent voter. “What do I want? Total crackdown on any terrorist activity is necessary. If water boarding is considered torture, so be it. American lives are far more valuable. We are not the aggressor. Send them to Gitmo for a quick military trial, or how about paying Mexico to imprison them for life. It would be cheaper than keeping them in our prisons. Harsh??? Damn right! Keep this country strong.”
Bill Murphy of Alvin, TX says, “Three top things, toughness on terrorists, strong support for Israel and fight for the unborn!” Another Texan, John Borley says, “Stop Mirandizing and coddling terrorists through our U.S. Court system. Use a tribunal and get intelligence information from terrorists that can save American lives in the future.”
Veteran Jim Adams now retired from the FBI writes, “Terrorism – we have got to do a better job of handling it. This includes more than Afghanistan. The entire Middle East has large populations that would love to see us disappear. We cannot change ideals, so we need to find a better way to deal with it.”
Retired Colonel James Carothers of Slidell, LA had extensive comments on national security. He believes we should have a global theme...”Build America – Defend America” and strongly points out, “If you are not contributing to at least one of the above, you are just ‘overhead'.” He believes political party affiliation is irrelevant to this theme.
Carothers explains himself in this way, “We are in a long war. We don't have a choice in this matter; the elements of conflict are fixed and will not change. Give them the ‘pointed end' of our superior technology. Stop allowing and enabling Muslim Extremists to conduct combat operations in Minneapolis, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania or any sovereign American territory.”
He concludes saying, “Interdict 5th Column Muslim infrastructure (domestic) within America. Stop prison recruitment effort. Stop the flow of dollars from domestic charities to Muslim Extremists. Defend the homeland aggressively. Protect American citizens from the Muslim Extremist threat and fight on their turf...not ours!”
There were many strong words written in the messages from these people. The words are all from individuals who have given our nation substantial years of their lives. They have defended the Constitution and because of them and millions of their brothers-in-arms we still enjoy freedom. If elected officials should listen to anyone, it should not be the backroom dealmakers, but those among our citizens who stood tall when their country called. If the politicos can't do that one simple thing, they should...