"We can renew the American dream by rekindling the fires of men, material and morale that warm the warriors who stand on liberty's ramparts protecting our families."
--Congressman Mike Pence
One of my top priorities in Congress is to strengthen national security and defense by giving the commander in chief all the tools he needs to fight and win the war on terrorism.
This war is like none America has ever fought before. It is being fought on many different fronts against an enemy that likes to hide in the shadows. On September 11, it became clear that the enemy isn't afraid to take this fight to American soil.
It is my firm belief that we must take the fight to the terrorists overseas so we don't have to face them here at home.
We have done this by waging a relentless war against terrorism. In the wake of September 11, I voted to grant President Bush the power to use all necessary force to vanquish enemies of peace.
By doing so, Afghanistan, once ruled by the brutal Taliban regime that sheltered al-Qaida, has adopted a new constitution and is following the path of democracy, including providing fundamental rights to women.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein was overthrown and captured, and the enemies of freedom are being systematically routed from their hiding places and rounded up. Iraqis are assuming greater responsibility for their own security and future government. The United States is working with more than 30 nations to help the Iraqi people make the transition to full sovereignty by the end of June.
In addition, Libya pledged to disclose and dismantle all of its weapons of mass destruction programs, including chemical and nuclear weapons. Colonel Qadhafi agreed to accept international inspections to ensure Libya's complete adherence to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
There is no greater sacrifice than to lay down one's life for another. Our servicemen and women are called to do this each and every day. For this reason, the United States government should do all it can to support them.
I have supported personnel enhancements for our military in a number of ways:
l Supported pay raises for our men and women in uniform. 2004 marked the fifth consecutive year the military pay raise exceeded pay increases in the private sector.
l Worked to increase active duty special pay and bonuses, including enlistment and reenlistment bonuses, family separation allowances and hostile fire and danger pay.
l Supported health care and pay increases for guard and reserve forces.
Camp Atterbury is a 33,000-acre; Class A maneuver training site for the Indiana National Guard. It was the first National Guard facility activated to become a mobilization station for the war in Iraq.
During the annual appropriations process I requested a new multipurpose Battle Simulation Center for the camp. When completed, the center will greatly enhance the National Guard's command, control and communications operations. Further, the flexible configuration of the facility will allow the camp to host other training requirements such as weapons of mass destruction response training, first responders drills and Joint Chiefs of Staff exercises. The facility can also serve as a conference center and general-purpose classroom.