I was in El Paso, Texas, about one week ago, attending my Mother’s funeral. She was buried with my Father at the National Cemetery at Fort Bliss, Texas. Dad was a career Army man and retired with the rank of a first lieutenant. Dad served in World war II and Korea. Growing up we learned to always respect our country. We learned that it was an honor and a privilege to defend our country. Dad always stressed that everything we enjoyed in the United States of America was worth fighting for. He impressed me with the respect owed to the office of the president, even if we did not agree with the man himself.
While standing at my parents’ grave site, I looked over the endless rows of tombstones marking the lives of men and women who gave their lives for this country. I thought of the pride their families and our nation felt for each and every one of them. They took care of us and kept us safe from whatever evil force was threatening our democracy and our way of life. I reflected on everything I had learned growing up in a military family and I wondered what Dad would tell me today about honor, respect and duty.
I still respect the office of the president, but today it is impossible for me to respect the current president. He has betrayed everything I was taught to believe. His actions in Syria are a betrayal of everything our country stands for. How are those soldiers feeling, who fought side by side with the Kurds, our allies against ISIS? How can we as a nation hold our heads up and think our word can be trusted and respected ever again? How can our soldiers believe in the orders given them at any given time? My heart breaks for the soldier who stated that for the first time in his military career he felt ashamed.
Flying to and from El Paso, our plane carried a significant number of soldiers. Our hotel was housing many soldiers. I pray that each and every one of them will be safe from harm and that includes decisions made by our country’s leadership. It is the least we can do as a nation for these brave men and women. They deserve better than what has happened in Syria.