A Letter from a Grateful American to His Congressman

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Government
Tags: , , , ,
Unlike many Facebook letters I can personally attest to knowing this person. We were assigned together a decade ago and I was able to run into him downrange during my last trip to Iraq where he was a DA Civilian. This is a real letter that he wrote to his Congressman to express dissatisfaction with how Congress has handled the current fiscal crisis and the effects of sequestration on our civilian counterparts in the DoD.  I have cut his name out of the signature block out of courtesy.  Please feel free to pass this on, I will pass any requests for proof this was written by a real person and not attributed to some undeserving celebrity on to the writer of this letter.
Enjoy, THIS is what being an American is all about!

I wrote to my Congressman (Andy Harris)…. I feel pretty freaking good about it.

“Dear Sir,

As a Veteran of two combat tours as an Active Duty Soldier, AS WELL as two tours in Iraq as an Emergency Essential Department of the Army (DA) Civilian, (October, 2001 – Initial Entry to Afghan Theater, 5th Special Forces Group, K-2 Uzbekistan and Mazar E Shariff Afghanistan; March, 2003 – Initial Entry to Iraqi Theater, 5th Special Forces Group, Al Jaffar Jordan; April 2007 – Subject Matter Expert, Satellite Communications Systems, MNF-Central, Tikrit Iraq; April 2008 – Subject Matter Expert, Satellite Communications, MNF-North, Tal Afar Iraq) I AM DISGUSTED WITH THE MANNER IN WHICH THE CURRENT CONGRESS HAS CONDUCTED ITS BUSINESS REGARDING THE PENDING “BUDGET UNCERTAINTY” AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.

I served nearly a decade in the Army. When I became physically unable to meet the standards set for me by the proud traditions of the Corps of Non-Commissioned Officers, I made the painful and difficult decision to leave my life in Uniform. Being one that believes in living a life of service, I started a new career as a Department of the Army Civilian. Since my transition in late 2005, I have transplanted my family 4 times. That’s averages once every two years. We have lived in the Republic of Korea, Washington State, Hawaii, New Jersey and are now residing in Maryland; the place where we intend to put down our “roots.” As I mentioned above, I’ve spent more than a year of my time as a DA Civilian directly in harm’s way as a forward deployed asset of the Department of Defense in Iraq. Combine that time with the other (numerous) Temporary Duty Assignments in support of the Army and my Command, I missed more than half of my son’s first four years on this Earth. That’s time I will not get back, sir. Don’t get me wrong… it’s a sacrifice that I would make again, if called to do so. I merely want to make sure that YOU are aware that it happened. I want this little grain of context to exist in your mind as you consider your position on sequestration.

I am now a resident of your Congressional District. I represent just one of the 28,000 households that Maryland gained as a result of the Base Realignments and Closures (BRAC) of 2005. I write to you representing one of the thousands of households that have taken up residence in Cecil County. I want to let you know that the consensus of opinion in my workplace, in my neighborhood, in my town and amongst the entire DoD Community is that you, sir, are FAILING.

I wonder if you have considered what the effect of a 20% reduction in household income for a newly established core of residents will have on the community you represent. I wonder if you have considered the effect that this will have on your future political career as our representative. I can assure you, if the sequestration is allowed to move forward; if food is taken off my table as a result of mandatory furlough; if I can’t afford to let my son play spring baseball, or use the internet in the safety of my home, or eat an ice cream cone, or go to the doctor; if my wife gets cold because we can no longer afford to heat our house… I want YOU to know that I will invest every ounce of the energy that I have into working within the community to ensure that you get voted out of office as quickly and decisively as possible.

Offer me some perspective, sir. In what way does your sacrifice for this nation match my own? Enlighten me as to why 800,000 people have to take a 20% reduction in pay because you, and the other members of Congress, can’t agree on how to eliminate 2-3% of the Federal Budget? Why is it that I continue to accomplish the missions that are placed before me, while you continue to make a mess out of nearly everything you touch… but I’M the one that’s going to take a pay cut?

Granted, I’m not standing before you and saying that all Government Employees are fantastic. Some of them are leaches that contribute nothing more to the world that a collection of boogers on the under-side of their desks. I am not one of them, sir. I directly support combat operations on a daily basis. I make myself available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year for technical assistance to telecommunications sites around the world. When systems break, I’m the guy that gets called in an emergency to restore vital communications resources around the world. I help design, test and implement the systems that enable commanders to speak to their troops, gathering and distribution timely and accurate intelligence information and give the Soldier/Sailors/Marine the ability to call his/her spouse/mother/child in the middle of the night for what may be his/her last “I love you.”

I have sweated for this country. I have bled for this country. I have lost my brothers and sisters in arms, and continue to serve out of respect for the fact that they no longer can. Your reluctance to act in this matter disrespects me, my family and everything I have ever done in service to this nation. I implore you to prevent the coming furloughs.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I appreciate that you are extremely busy. Please take every… single… word… of what I have said, seriously.

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