I am a veteran of the Navy and the Marine Corps. My career started in June 2004 when I shipped off to Navy boot camp. It was exactly 2 weeks after I graduated from Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida. For 12 years, I enjoyed seeing the world, making life long friends, and learning valuable life lessons. But, if you were to check my voting record during those years it would be blank.
While you are serving in the military, you are discouraged from discussing politics, being in the local news for politics, or even being active in politics. Most often, people in your immediate circle are not involved in politics either. The Commander-in-Chief is not a Democrat or a Republican when you’re in uniform and neither is the person you trust to guard your left or your right. We’re all on the same team and we all bleed red, white, and blue.
As military veteran and Congressman, Michael Waltz said, “In the foxhole, nobody cares about party, race, or religion.” We are taught to take orders and execute them for the benefit of our country. You experience good and bad political leadership, but their morals and values are irrelevant. We execute their orders regardless. Also, unlike career politicians, you were guaranteed the military chain of command would change every 3-4 years. This was my way of life and thinking for 12 years.
Some may find this attitude appalling and unpatriotic, but my decision not to vote was not due to lack of love for my country. On the contrary, I never voted because I loved serving my country and I didn’t understand how much my vote counted and my voice mattered. For active duty and military veterans who still do not vote because they think their vote doesn’t matter, remember the 2020 presidential election. Remember that election officials in Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Alaska were all waiting for military ballots and for the military voice to be heard before our next president was decided.
Life outside of the military affords you more time to pay attention to the local and national news. If you observe enough, you will realize some officials do not like the military, do not like this country, and do not care about the morals and values this country was founded upon. They do not care about preserving what you or I were willing to put our lives on the line for and they do not care to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
My first time ever voting for a president was for Donald Trump in 2020. For active duty military and veterans who are still sitting on the sidelines, we need you in this fight. There are too many bureaucrats making decisions for us on local, state, and federal levels that have never been willing to answer the call to defend our freedom. Get involved with the local party, run for office, and vote for patriots. Your stake in our democracy and the very fate of America depends upon it.