When political people propose to develop some defense program — military hardware or additional forces or roles — they often seek comments from high-profile veterans.
It is natural that most former service members have positive memories from their service years. We tend to support measures to make our forces more effective and more safe.
It is probably expected that veterans looking at the recent “sequester” law in the federal government hope to see that the military continue to get its hefty share of the national budget. To some extent, we do.
Veterans are not monolithic in their views. Of the things that unite veterans, however, it is mostly our faith in the American system.
Broadly, we believe that we and all Americans hold to the basic values in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. We feel strongly that such a nation is very much worth fighting for. But we do not agree that our military strength alone makes us a strong country.
Rather, it is the very freedoms we enjoy and the hope of forging a better way for America — and by example for the world — that make the United States of America special. Should we harm by neglect through an intentionally harsh “sequester” of funds from programs for Americans in great need, while other programs that might do with less continue with scarcely a ripple of the water?
Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins have recognized that we should press for a rational budget. I think most veterans want that, too.
The things we fought for are too precious to fall on the sword of partisan selfishness. Maine should again set a strong example by our appeals to our congressional representatives to fight for a bipartisan budget.