Son of a Veteran
Regardless of your political party, we should all stand behind our veterans because of the sacrifices they have made for this great country of ours. My Dad, (ISCM(SW) David L. Murdock, USN) is a retired Navy veteran who served for 34 years. He wasn’t around much while I was growing up, and at the time, I didn’t understand the importance of his service. His absence was all I knew. Now that we get to spend more and more time together, I have grown to understand what this country and the Navy means to him. To merely say that he loves this country is a gross understatement. He gave everything to this country, and we all owe him, and every man and woman who has served, a debt of gratitude.
I haven’t posted a lot of political articles or rants this election season. So I want you to know that I put a lot of serious thought into this post because I love my Dad, and I love the United States of America.
Over the last year we have heard the same rhetoric from both parties. It is my opinion that politicians say more when they leave things out. People tend to talk about those things that matter the most. We tend to ignore and avoid those subjects that are not important to us or are outside our realm of understanding.
That is why Romney’s failure to address the veterans in his nationally televised speech at the GOP Convention and the three Presidential Debates, is so troubling. I watched all of them. I listened to all of them, and his silence on veteran issues was deafening. I went back and did a count of the times the words “veteran” and “veterans” were used.
Third Debate: Obama mentioned veterans 7 times. Romney 0.
Second Debate: Obama 2 times. Romney 0.
First Debate: Neither candidate mentioned Veterans.
Now, critics will point out that Obama didn’t mention those two words, but he did talk about the troops in Afghanistan during his nomination acceptance speech. Romney did not even mention the war, let alone the veterans.
I live in California, and we aren’t even close to being a battleground state. Romney and his surrogates don’t stump here much, so I only really get to hear and see what the news networks and blogs share. Even then, it tends to get filtered. So, I put a lot more emphasis on what the candidates say when given a national audience.
Even after having it pointed out that he failed to mention the war in Afghanistan during his acceptance speech, Romney still didn’t add a token reference to the veterans in his national debates. I cannot vote for a man who so willfully ignores our veterans. Also, Romney’s party blocked the Vet Jobs Bill in Congress which fueled my distaste and distrust of the GOP.
Keeping the economy moving forward is important. Getting the national debt under control is important. Addressing foreign policy and national security are also important. Knowing what the candidate will do for the men and women who have bravely served our country is the most important issue that will help me select the next Commander in Chief.
I cannot trust Mitt Romney to do what is in the best interest of our veterans. Mitt Romney proved this to me with his silence and that is why I’m voting to re-elect President Barack Obama.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Truman National Security Project or Educational Institute.