Our service people need our support. However, they also need the material support that will allow them to do their jobs. I don't know how many times I have read of soldiers who simply didn't have the kind material and equipment they needed. I have also read stories of waste and fraud regarding some aspects of these wars. Our troops have been suffering while the fat cats get rich on "no bid" contracts. This is something that should bother everyone, and it's time we put a stop to it.
I am also concerned that these wars have now lasted longer than World War II. We need a thorough evaluation of the status of Iraq and Afghanistan from unbiased military experts and then proceed accordingly.
The medical system for our veterans is unacceptable. All too often, veterans have to drive hundreds of miles to receive substandard care. As a state legislator, I've fought to provide better healthcare for our veterans, and with your help I'll take that fight to the floors of Congress.
The Mississippi National Guard has played a major role in our war effort; everyone in this state has had a friend or a relative who served with our National Guard overseas. Their service has made our country proud.
But why are our National Guard troops overseas?
The National Guard system grew out of our old state militias. Their chief purpose is to defend us from attacks on our soil and to help provide relief and order in times of disaster. That's why National Guard troops are normally under the command of the governor, not the president.
Unfortunately, Washington has quietly decided to change the mission of our National Guard. Rather than seeing the National Guard as a home defense force, Washington has decided that the Guard is a part of the Reserve. Now our president doesn't hesitate to nationalize the Guard and send our friends and neighbors overseas for months at a time.
I know that National Guard troops are supposed to be at home under the control of state governors, not abroad on the whims of a president. I will fight to end the long-term deployment of National Guard troops overseas and return the National Guard to the states. Sending me to Congress will send a message that we want our National Guard troops in Bruce, not Baghdad.