I am not a politician. I am a great-grandmother and your neighbor. I am a fellow American and a proud mother of a son serving in the Air Force; and I am proud of my grandson in the United States Army. Today I ask you - no, I beg you - to put politics aside and read on.
The military of any country is the first line of defense. Our United States military has consistently seen budget cuts these last four years, which could weaken and jeopardize America's strength and credibility before the watching world.
These budget cuts have led to workforce reduction in areas critical to our national security. As funding for our military is reduced, positions in the Air Force and other military have led to a decline in manpower and morale.
Couples with and without children are carrying a heavier burden on their shoulders trying to maintain a healthy balance of priorities in their private lives, while proudly serving in our military to protect you and me.
As positions are illogically, unsoundly and arbitrarily eliminated because of budget cuts, the workload falls on the few remaining: more work hours are required and there is less or no quality time spent at home with family.
I am not referring to overseas deployments. I am trying to bring home awareness of a problematic situation here at home. These conditions are creating strained relationships, divorce, orphaned children, withdrawal, mental fatigue, and probably have contributed to suicide in the U.S military.
The United States of America currently has the lowest naval force in history. How can we deny our precious men and women serving our country the basic funding, manpower and tools they need to keep us safe? The answer is: we cannot afford to reduce or eliminate our military.
A house divided cannot stand.
Please, let us stop the divisive bickering and return to a unified America. Let us return to build on the principles our nation was founded on; be willing to recognize and admit the precarious position our country currently is in, with a weakened military; and please let us remember the bond we feel as Americans when tragedy strikes.
No longer are we primarily Democrat or Republican - we are human; we are family; we are American.
C. Victoria Elmendorf