I served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can’t explain why I came home and some of my friends didn’t. But what I do know is that they were great Americans, and we owe them a debt we can never repay.
When I served, I took oaths under both Democrat and Republican presidents. Each time I was willing to give my life to keep that oath because I believed those presidents would try to do the right thing for the country. President Donald Trump has shown time and time again with disrespectful rhetoric and his most recently disclosed disparaging and abhorrent comments about our nation’s military men and women that he won’t. As Abraham Lincoln honored America’s fallen soldiers as those that “gave the last full measure of devotion,” we recognize the comments of this president as the last full measure of his disgrace.
In his actions and in his disrespect, Donald Trump puts both our troops and national security at great risk. What kind of president insults Americans who have given their lives for our country? What president undermines our national security and the integrity of our elections by aligning with foreign adversaries and dictators? Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about sacrifice, or what it means to put the nation — or anything — before himself. There are many reasons we should not allow Donald Trump to serve in office for four more years, but this alone is reason enough. If our commander-in-chief won’t respect our troops or protect them, he can’t lead them.
Today, brave men and women in uniform are risking their lives to protect us, our freedoms and our democracy — just as generations have done before them. They deserve a president who recognizes their sacrifices and will never lose sight of his mission as commander-in-chief to keep them, and us, safe. Our troops, our veterans, Colorado’s military families deserve better. They deserve a president who respects and honors their service, who understands the challenge and sacrifice and who will always do what’s right to protect them.
While Donald Trump has left a disappointing trail of disparaging remarks about our troops, Vice President Joe Biden ends many speeches with recognition for their sacrifice, because it’s one he knows personally.
Joe and Jill Biden know from their own experience what it is like to send a child off to war. Throughout their public service, both in public office and out, the Bidens have made caring for military families a priority. It’s personal to them because they’ve lived it. They understand the sleepless nights, wondering if your deployed loved one is safe and the added sacrifices and challenges, big and small, military families face because they choose selfless service. If elected, they have committed to relaunching and strengthening Joining Forces, a national initiative focused on the issues that matter to military families, service members, and veterans including employment, education, and wellness. Joe Biden has promised to pay service members what they deserve, provide resources for military spouses, caregivers, and survivors, prioritize support for military children and end needless financial burdens facing survivors. Biden also has a record of standing up to America’s adversaries and enemies, as well as marshaling the help and support of our allies.
This is what leadership looks like.
Nearly half a million veterans and active-duty members call Colorado home, we’re also home to six military bases, including Buckley Air Force Base in my district. For all of these Coloradans and countless others throughout our nation, we must full-heartedly repudiate Donald Trump’s disgraceful comments and elect a president this November who is fit to be our commander-in-chief and live up to this role in words and actions.
Those who have sacrificed everything for our country deserve nothing less.