Weekly Columns

Wishing You & Your Family A Happy Thanksgiving

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Washington, November 24, 2009 | comments
While there were many celebrations before, in 1789, George Washington signed an official proclamation entitled “General Thanksgiving” which called for a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” Since then, our nation has observed this day as a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude for the blessings in your life. It’s about spending time with your family and loved ones. It’s about giving back and giving thanks.

This Thanksgiving I will be saying a special prayer for the brave men and women who are serving our nation overseas in the Armed Forces. They cannot be with their families and friends here in the States, but they can be in our thoughts and prayers. Our troops deserve our highest support as they literally put their lives on the line for our freedom.

As I write this today, there are reports that the President is on the verge of making a decision about the course of action he intends to take in Afghanistan. This has been an extremely long process. I respect the President’s prerogative to ask tough questions and not make a snap decision on this, but every day that has gone by is a day of uncertainty for our soldiers in the field and their families here at home. This long time period has sent the message of uncertainty to our allies and adversaries alike in the War on Terror.

I was extremely troubled to read the New York Times account stating, “several people briefed on administration deliberations said that the president's advisers had been testing the reaction to an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 troops.” This doesn’t sound like careful strategy formed on military concerns– this sounds like a strategy based on politics. We will have to wait to hear what the final plan really is, but if we are serious about success, then I think it should reflect what our military leaders on the ground say they need to do the mission we have given them.

There are several liberals in Congress who don’t want any troop increase – regardless of what the generals say – and they are proposing a new tax on working Americans to pay for operations in Afghanistan. Based on these particular Members’ track record of spending billions of dollars and building the mountain of debt our nation faces today, I don’t think this initiative is about balancing our budget. I think it is meant to turn public sentiment against our military involvement in Afghanistan, and I think it’s flat out wrong to play politics with our troops.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote, the highest role of our federal government is for our national defense: 

    “Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward (township) direct the interests within itself.”

As we enter the Holiday season, let’s all try to reach out to be supportive of our military and their families.

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Tags: Defense