Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a non-partisan organization committed to honoring our veterans by protecting their interests, gave Republican Congressman Rob Wittman a "D" grade in their Congressional report card. If I got a "D" in school, my parent's would have had my hide. (I know the times that I came close, I was grounded and my social life suffered the consequences.) We can't let people like Rob Wittman get away with voting against America's veterans and their families. Veteran Adam Cook, who led a special team in Afghanistan collecting intelligence on Al Queda and Taliban fighters, is now holding Congressman Wittman accountable by running against him in Virginia's 1st District.
Cook, raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is the son and grandson of pastors. His family instilled in him the values of serving his country and not leaving anyone behind. Cook is passionate about America having a strong recovery, but he's also driven by protecting veterans and their families, a cause close to his heart. Cook spent six years on active duty, serving as a military prosecutor and defense counsel at air force bases in Alabama, South Korea, and Washington, DC. Then he volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan.
Now that he's a veteran, Cook is seeing valuable services, like the VA, increasingly under threat from Congressional budget cuts.
In this time of economic crisis, our veterans need our support. The New York Times reported last June that suicides among military personnel and combat veterans are outpacing the number of war deaths. That's heartbreaking, but to be expected when the services our veterans need and deserve are being cut by a do-nothing, deadbeat Republican Tea Party House of Representatives.
I don't care how much the deficit and China scares you, you do not turn your back on our men and women in the military and their families. There are serious repercussions, including holding back a population of people who have unique skills and incredible guts that can serve our country here at home by successfully leading businesses and public institutions. For these reasons, Forbes called hiring veterans "smart business." But the unemployment rate for veterans is worse than for Americans who didn't serve. Keeping Deadbeat Republican Congressman Wittman in his seat will not provide needed help and support.
Here are some more facts about Deadbeat Republican Congressman Wittman, a threat to the security of our country and the potential of America's veterans:
- Deadbeat Republican Congressman Wittman voted to cut funding to the VA by 13%, and he blocked support for victims of sexual assault in the armed forces, a serious issue demanding urgency.
- Deadbeat Republican Congressman Wittman voted against a bill to help servicemembers who fought after 9/11.
- Deadbeat Republican Congressman Wittman voted to replace Medicare's guaranteed benefits with a voucher. A voucher. He voted for Ryan's Tea Party Budget that would cripple America, and return us to the dark ages of George W. Bush.
If you live in the 1st District of Virginia, or know someone who does, tell them to support removing Wittman from Congress by voting for Adam Cook. Cook and his wife Melody, a girls basketball coach and analyst for the Navy, have built a passionate grassroots campaign to get rid of Wittman. My sister, Ali Chalupa, a long time warrior for democratic causes, went to UC Davis law school with Cook and is currently running a campaign powered by an army of volunteers.
As a war veteran, former military leader, and lawyer, Cook has the mind and the heart to provide real service. In sharp contrast, Wittman is part of the problem of childish politics grid-locking Washington. We have to hold flunkies like Wittman accountable for breaching the security of our country and our veterans.
For more information on Cook, visit AdamCook2012.com. Here are the details on where he stands on the issues Virginians care about.
I'm a volunteer for the Adam Cook for Congress campaign to get-out-the-vote and turn Virginia blue.
Follow Andrea Chalupa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndreaChalupa