Richard Freer: A veteran’s perspective on current events

By Richard Freer

Many veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War, like me, volunteered and served because we believed in America.

We not only fought for our freedoms, but for the freedom of other nations and their people around the world. We respected the Constitution, and the God-given rights of one nation under God.

In recent years, and especially under the present administration, we have drifted from our Founding Fathers’ principles.

Our nation is adrift at sea with a captain that has no idea how to right the sails.

We have built up a debt that is decaying our economic structure. We could have given each citizen over $7,500, with results better that our $17 trillion debt. Yet the administration continues to propose more spending.

Our foreign respect is at an all-time low and our enemies have no fear of our actions. We have thrown under the bus Israel, our lone friend in the Middle East. Our appeasement plan with Iran and Syria is failing and they are taking full advantage.

We are exiting Iraq where al-Qaida and the Iranians are rapidly taking charge. We fought the Iraq war to defeat a ruthless dictator, provide freedom to the people of Iraq, and develop another democracy in the Middle East. We lost more than 4,400 Americans, many more wounded and spent billions of dollars. What do we have to show for all of this? A country that is drifting toward Iran where Islamic Jihads are on the rise.

Then in Afghanistan we decided to send in more troops to overcome our enemy, but at the same time announced a planned withdrawal. You should never tell the enemy what your plans are.

We have an estimated unemployment rate of about 7 percent, but if we consider those who have given up looking for work it may be more like 15 to 20 percent. We are witnessing the longest and worst recovery from any recession since the Great Depression. Only 63 percent of our eligible employees are working, the lowest in the last 35 years, with no idea what to do except provide more federal spending.

Our administration does not talk straight, twists the facts, presents only half truths and will not accept responsibility. Benghazi, a horrible situation where four Americans were murdered, was soon before the election. The administration attempted to put the responsibility for the event on a video. It took a Congressional investigation to get the facts. Still, no action has been taken to find and punish those responsible.

In the Internal Revenue Service mess, no one is accepting responsibility and no action has been taken, except for taking the Fifth.

We need new leadership in Washington and a lot of new players. We need representatives who put the country ahead of their party.

The first objective of our elected officials should be private-sector job creation. More full time jobs will solve a myriad of problems. Officials should look for ways to reduce government and substitute the private sector where a true need exists. Elected officials must enforce the Constitution and not try to reinvent it.

Officials should work to replace the Affordable Care Act with a fair and simple plan that we can understand and can be administered, building on the best of what we have now and is affordable.

Elected officials should review regulations and determine those that do more harm than good.

We mus insist that our representatives who want to truly serve our country and not make politics a career, while living by the same laws and regulations as the rest of us.

I do believe that if we elect representatives to implement these actions we will see a rebirth of our nation. Come elections in 2014 and 2016, voters have an opportunity to change the country’s direction. It will not be easy, it will not quick, and it will require sacrifice. But the change must happen for the future of our country.

Freer, of Charleston, is a veteran of the US Army Signal Corp. He retired from General Electric in 1990.

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