Two years ago, my sister and I stood in the theater at Arlington Cemetery for the premier of the documentary “We Served Too - The Women’s Air force Service Pilots of WWII." It was a moving experience, made even more so by the view of so many who died for us.
But if I could stand and speak to the nation from the briefing room at the Pentagon (as I did in this mock press conference), here is what I would say:
While we wave flags, buy red poppies, and march in parades today, there is a grave matter that should shame us all.
Today, more men and women have died or been horribly wounded—physically and/or mentally by engaging in the longest wars our nation has fought. And yet, unemployment is rampant for our veterans (25% for those ages 18-24). Food insecurity and lack of housing is a reality. Families have been ripped apart. And our VA medical services require huge repair. It is beyond pathetic. Where is the outrage?
Our voices are silent when only 30% of registered voters cast ballots in this last election…
Only 30 % on behalf of the values and democracy that these men and women have fought to protect and advance.
It is beyond pathetic.
I’ve heard the arguments for remaining away: “Only money matters now.” “Powerful lobbies have bought the politicians.” “My vote won’t make a difference.”
There’s a part of me that shakes my head in agreement and yet… and yet…
Our nation can’t continue this road of apathy. Without carefully standing at a voting booth, there is no chance for creating a nation that works for all. Our veterans deserve protection and assistance with more than words and bugle blares.
Today, make a resolve to let your voice be heard. The citizens of countries around the world are dying for the one right that we have and yet 70% refused to use: the power of a vote