Use your vote, help select your leader

  • Published
  • By MSgt Michael Coleman
  • 71st Operational Group
If you pay attention to the news media, and I hope you do, you will know that we have entered a new political season. This November we will have a distinct opportunity as members of the greatest military in the world. We will help decide who our boss will be for the following four years.
What other job can you think of where you have a say in who your boss will be? I suggest to all of you that not only are we blessed with this right it is a responsibility that each of us shares.
Since 1978 I have voted for three out of four of my Commanders in Chief and this fall I will be in the voting booth to once again cast my ballot. The decision I make will not be based along party lines although my politics tend to be conservative, my decision will be made based on my personal values, beliefs, and learning where the candidates stand on issues important to me and this nation.
Let me ask you this question, do you know who the candidates for president are? This may seem a ridiculous question but I have spoken with people who cannot name the candidates, they have no idea what the major issues are or even where they stand. Many base their voting decision on how their family has always voted, and will cast their ballot down a party line. This is fine, but please know where your candidate stands and vote with good conscience. Do you know who represents you in the house and senate? Are these seats on the ballot this year? What about elections back in your hometown?
This is an important election year. Our country is at war with an enemy who is driven by hate for our nation and our way of life. They hate our freedom of choice, our opportunity, our wealth and our power. They don't want this for their own people but would certainly take it for themselves. This is an enemy with no established country or government and they would deny their fellow people the right to freedom or opportunity. While they may not defeat us in spirit, they can attack and hurt us physically. That said, we as military members need to ensure we are voting for those individuals who have the security of our nation in the forefront of their agendas. Our elected officials decide how we are manned, equipped, paid and what benefits we are eligible for.
We are responsible as citizens to participate in the electoral processes, our collective voices count and one of the best places for us to be heard is at the ballot box. Regardless of how you vote or what you believe to be right for this country, I am asking each and every one of you to register to vote. Speak with your voting assistance representatives to get that absentee ballot to your home in plenty of time to get it counted. Make sure your civilian spouse knows what his/her voting opportunities are. Take some time everyday to watch or read the news, educate yourself on the issues so you can make decisions you are comfortable with. We may not all vote the same but we do need to vote.