My grandfather was born and raised in Pinetop Arizona…he fished the same clear lakes as your sons, he loved the same sacred mountains you do, he shared your faith. My grandfather came from a very large and very poor Mormon family. In order to escape the fate of poverty he enlisted and was quickly sent to the Japanese Front; the first pair of new shoes he ever owned were the boots the United States Army issued him in Basic Training. Early in the war he was captured by the Japanese in his new boots and was forced to march days and days in Bataan, a forced march that killed many men from Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. My grandfather survived the Bataan Death March as well as almost five years in a Japanese POW camp. He knew about war.
My grandfather was an Arizona combat Veteran, I am an Arizona Combat Veteran (and a registered Republican), I have quite a few friends that are Arizona Combat Veterans (most are Republicans.. some are not), and we have a message for Arizona Senator Jeff Flake: “you should start cleaning out his desk. Because of your “Yea” vote on Syria, you won’t have a job in two years if we can help it.”
Senator Flake failed to understand a few things about Arizona Veterans and most Arizona civilians for that matter, when he cast his “Yea” vote on Syrian missile strikes: His voters (employers), unlike him are not beholden to the massive amounts of money that military contractors provide to the Hawks eager for war, we could give a damn about the F-35, or any other Air Force bomber and whether it gets taken out of the toy box and played with, we have actually spoken with the kind of human beings (from the Middle East) he plans of bombing, most of us are not wealthy ranchers insulated from military service, most of us were not educated at a Mormon University quarantined from the rest of American society, we are really sick of war, we are really sick of our sons and daughters dying in the Middle East, we are sick of deploying again and again and again for years on end, we are sick of the unseen damage that ten years of war has done to our loved ones brains and bodies, we are really sick and tired of elitist Senators like you rushing to send our children, but never your own to war, we are sick of the lie of “limited strikes”, we are sick of being told that the intelligence is air tight.
The gig is up Senator Flake, we learned many lessons from Iraq, many of us we actually fought there, and we know that the intelligence is not perfect…in fact we are pretty certain that it is massively flawed. We know that you and the rest of your fellow hawkish Senators probably don’t know for certain who launched that chemical attack in Syria. But most importantly we know for certain that, while we hoped you were different, you are not. You are no different from all the rest of the war hungry, corrupt men and women who sit on Capitol Hill and pretend to represent us. You have cowardly towed the line and followed Senator McCain to war, and you will send our daughters, but never your own.
There is hope of keeping your job. You are going to go back to your district this weekend, the same small town where my grandfather grew up, and you’re going to listen to your constituents, and your constituents are going to tell you the same thing the rest of the country told their Representatives: NO! You should listen to them, and change your vote as many Representatives have and are beginning to consider. Representatives like Congressman Michael Grimm, a Republican from NY…he is now publicly against intervention in Syria.
If your “Yes” vote does not quickly become a “No”, this registered Arizona Republican and Combat Veteran will work hard to fire you, and I will encourage all Arizona Combat Veterans to show you the door as well.