Hello to my fellow Veterans & those who support us,
There is a good chance that you don’t know me. I am not an elected official, politico, or community leader—I’m a U.S. Marine Corps disabled Veteran, and I had the distinct pleasure of serving alongside Capt. Dutch Haaland, Deb Haaland’s father, the most outstanding Marine Corps officer I have ever known.
As a disabled Marine Veteran and retired Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force Reservist working out of Kirtland Air Force Base, what matters most to me is that my elected representatives have an understanding of and compassion for my experience. Too often we hear people running for office say the right things, but not live up to their commitments when it matters the most. Sadly, this has been the case for some time when it comes to Veterans issues and advancing policy that actually improves our health and wellbeing.
But, this in not the case with the Deb I know. Both of her parents served their country—her mom in the U.S. Navy and her father who had a 30-year career in the Marines and was awarded the Silver Star for saving lives of fellow Marines in Vietnam. Growing up in a military family, Deb understands the challenges that people like me have faced while abroad, at home, and re-entering the civilian world. Too many of my fellow Marines, Airmen and other military members go without adequate healthcare, too many of us are homeless—especially Vietnam Veterans, and there is an epidemic of PTSD among combat veterans that is tearing families apart.
Another major disgrace is the Veterans Administration (VA) medical and compensation and pension systems. The backlog is unacceptable in both areas; I've had a compensation claim in the system for six years now, and it is estimated that it will take another five years. I know there is a tremendous number of fellow Veterans with stories worse than mine, and I know VA issues will be high on Deb's agenda. She is exhibiting the same outstanding leadership traits and compassion as her Dad. This is why I know that Deb’s experience and commitment to Veterans guides who she is today, and will as our next Congresswoman.
Veterans are often used as political soundbites. I’ve never actually heard an elected official speak poorly about Veterans, but words simply aren’t enough—we need to trust that real action will follow these words, and my trust is with those who know where I’m coming from as a Veteran. Deb Haaland has my trust as a person and as our next Congressional Representative. I know she will fight for Veterans like me and the Marines and Airmen with whom I served. Please join me in supporting Deb with a $10, $25 or $50 contribution to her campaign.
Thank you so much,
Capt./U.S. Marine Corps Combat Engineer and Infantry Officer
Lt. Col./U.S. Air Force Reserves (Retired) Civil Engineering Officer