I vote in every election because of those who wear a uniform in support of our nation and our communities. Whether they are serving as a member of the military or in a law enforcement capacity, they have earned our freedom and continue to protect our way of life. One of the most important aspects of our way of life is our right to vote in free elections to set the direction of our nation, our states, and our communities. To ignore that right or belittle it just because our options are not ideal is to ignore and belittle the sacrifices that courageous men and women in uniform make every single day to protect our voting rights.
Do you remember the movie “Saving Private Ryan?” Do you remember how an entire team of Army Rangers gave their lives to save just one: Private Ryan? Do you remember the chilling last words of the captain of that Ranger team? “Earn this!” Those were his dying words to Private Ryan but he wasn’t just speaking to him. Private Ryan represents every one of us. We are the recipients of the greatest gift that anyone could give to us. Jesus himself tells us in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
I’m sure some of you may be wondering what inspired me to even write such a column. I was inspired to write this while helping with get out the vote efforts. I am deeply saddened by the numbers of people I have run into throughout our communities who are disgusted with this election cycle and who told me that they just refuse to participate. It saddens me every time I hear someone say that so I have been telling them this very thing to try and convince them to change their minds. I pray my efforts are successful and that they will honor our nation by participating. Giving up and surrendering are NOT the way to get anywhere in this life.
So, that is why I vote in every election even if I don’t like the names on the ballot. I’ll often write in names of people who deserve my vote if there are none printed there. The point is that I will EARN the way of life that has been gifted to me through the sacrifices of my friends, my family, and perfect strangers who have worn a uniform. I will never forget that I am the recipient of a precious gift and I personally know veterans who spilled blood for me to have this way of life. I will honor their sacrifices by exercising the right to vote that so many have fought so hard to preserve. I pray that you will do the same.