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Gary Sinise’s Incredible Commitment to Our Troops. There are still some celebrities who do right by the rest of us — including this dedicated man.


Authored by Angelina Newsom | Updated 17 Mar 2017 at 8:14 AM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.lifezette.com/popzette/gary-sinise-incredible-commitment-troops/

Actor Gary Sinise is a well-known celebrity within the military community — and for good reason. His name has become synonymous with supporting the troops.

I’ve traveled across the United States, around the world, and back again. I made stops in several USO facilities along the way to find some refuge from the often-long travels. These facilities have a very welcoming vibe and are often a beacon of light for weary service members as they head to some very rough places in the world. The atmosphere is reminiscent of visiting a hometown after a long absence.

The volunteers of the USO seem to always be happy to greet the visitors that enter through the doors. Upon arrival, those associated with the military are offered snacks and refreshments.

Throughout my journeys, I’ve noticed that in almost every single facility that I have visited, an autographed photo of Gary Sinise is proudly displayed. A sincere message typically accompanies the photo. Sinise has been supporting military members and veterans for decades now. After his very heartfelt performance as Lt. Dan in the movie “Forrest Gump” — in which he played a severely wounded combat veteran — Sinise began working closely with wounded and disabled veterans.

He has received several awards throughout the years for his selfless service to the military and first responders.  He’s also founded an organization — the Gary Sinise Foundation that provides a host of service to veterans, including providing smart homes for severely wounded and disabled veterans. The foundation also puts on the Invincible Spirit Festival, which honors wounded service members in addition to their caregivers and hospital staff. If these amazing programs weren’t enough, there’s even more that the Gary Sinise Foundation sponsors.

Related: We Need More Gary Sinises

One of the most touching is the Soaring Valor program, which works with WWII veterans and provides them with transportation to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans where they can participate in making videos of their firsthand accounts of war. This incredible mission is so important for the preservation of history and to support the veterans belonging to the Greatest Generation.

In addition to his already huge efforts, Sinise founded the Lt. Dan Band. The band has traveled around the world entertaining troops and spreading awareness about veterans’ causes.

For his latest award, Gary Sinise has been selected for the Association of the United States Army’s highest award for public service, the George Catlett Marshall Medal. The medal is awarded for sustained commitment to the men and women of America’s armed forces.

It takes a very special person to use their status as a celebrity in a positive manner. Sinise has not only toured with the USO to dangerous locations to meet and support the troops, but continues his work whether or not he’s in the spotlight.

In a world of political statements and over-the-top antics carried out by many of Hollywood’s rich and famous, Gary Sinise has set the bar very high with his public service and sustained work with the military community.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Angelina Newsom is a U.S. Army veteran and an OpsLens contributor. She served 10 years in the military, including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She studies criminal justice and is still active within the military community.

EXCLUSIVE: Deployed US Navy Has A Pregnancy Problem, And It’s Getting Worse


waving flag disclaimerAuthored by Photo of Richard Pollock Richard Pollock | Reporter | 9:28 PM 03/01/2017

URL of the original posting site:  http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/01/exclusive-deployed-us-navy-has-a-pregnancy-problem-and-its-getting-worse/#ixzz4aDseNuft

A record 16 out of 100 Navy women are reassigned from ships to shore duty due to pregnancy, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group. That number is up 2 percent from 2015, representing hundreds more who have to cut their deployments short, taxing both their unit’s manpower, military budgets and combat readiness. Further, such increases cast a shadow over the lofty gender integration goals set by former President Barack Obama.death-of-a-military

Overall, women unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50% more frequently to return to land duty, according to documents obtained from the Navy. The statistics were compiled by the Navy Personnel Command at the request of TheDCNF, covering the period from January 2015 to September 2016.

The evacuation of pregnant women is costly for the Navy. Jude Eden, a nationally known author about women in the military who served in 2004 as a Marine deployed to Iraq said a single transfer can cost the Navy up to $30,000 for each woman trained for a specific task, then evacuated from an active duty ship and sent to land. That figure translates into $115 million in expenses for 2016 alone.

“This is an avoidable cost and expense, leaving a gap for other people to pick up the work slack,” Eden said. “A pregnancy takes you out of action for about two years. And there’s no replacement,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a nonpartisan public policy organization. “So everybody else has to work all that harder,” adding that on small ships and on submarines, “you really have a potential crew disaster.”engineering

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen told TheDCNF the Navy tries to plan for the unplanned.

“Just as we deal with other unplanned manning losses due to injury or other hardships, we work to ensure that pregnant service members are taken care of and that commands are equipped to fulfill their missions when an unexpected loss occurs,” he said.

In January 2015, 3,335 women were pregnant aboard military vessels, representing about 14 percent of the 23,735 women then serving such duty, according to the data. But by August 2016 that number reached nearly 16 percent, an all-time high. The Navy reported 3,840 of the 24,259 women sailors who were aboard Navy ships were pregnant.Not okay

The Obama administration understated the pregnancy problem throughout its eight years and even suppressed some data about the impact of its “gender-neutral” policies on the Navy. For decades, for instance, the Navy published results from exhaustive surveys of 25,000 men and women in a document called the “Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood Survey.” The reports once were 75 to 100 pages long and disclosed attitudes among men and women and their behavior.  However, the Obama administration published only brief two to three-page summaries from 2012 onward.of-course-they-did

A civilian attached to the Navy Personnel, Research, Studies and Technology group, which researched and published the surveys, told TheDCNF full reports were completed regularly even though it’s detailed findings were not released to the public. The individual requested anonymity.

“The military has been tight lipped over the years about these numbers. They don’t like to publicize them,” Eden told TheDCNF.

The Navy has been dogged for years by lingering claims that some women get pregnant simply to avoid deployment.

We all know that happens. Women do it to avoid deployment,” Eden told TheDCNF.

“There do seem to be coincidences,” said Donnelly. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence.”

“This information is considered so sensitive. You just don’t talk about it. And you don’t ask. It’s just something that everybody knows occurs. Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Donnelly said. She served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.picture1

The sudden departure of pregnant women aboard military vessels severely hurts military readiness and morale for those left behind and who must pick up the slack. The expecting sailors must be transferred from a ship after the 20th week of pregnancy. The Navy officially considered pregnancy incompatible with military service and women who became pregnant were automatically discharged, according to The Alliance for National Defense. However, with the introduction of the all-volunteer military, the Navy provided many lucrative incentives to men and women — including free housing, medical care, recreation and educational opportunities.

But women got additional benefits, including free prenatal care, daycare, counseling, and special education for toddlers and children with disabilities or for other “special needs.”What did you say 07.jpg

“Since benefits offered to recruits who are women are so very generous, it almost becomes an incentive,” said Donnelly. “One feminist advocate many years ago referred to the military as a ‘Mecca for single moms.’”

“I think there are so many carrots. The military has become a modern-day jobs program,” Eden said.

Obama during his eight years in office sought to increase dramatically the number of women on ships. In May 2015, Admiral Michelle Howard announced a quota of 25% women on all ships. “We’re going back and looking at the ships — all of them — and what percentage of women are on the ships. Over time, we’ll modernize them to make sure we get to about 25 percent on each ship,” she said.death-of-a-military

Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in September 2015 pushed the new policy, stating that the Navy SEALs and all other combat jobs in the Navy should be open to women, with no exemptions as part of the Pentagon’s new “gender-neutral” employment policy.engineering

Eden believes the policy of increasing women on ships results in failure. “It’s bad policy when you think of ships that have to be battle-ready and then have to transfer women off for pregnancy — something that has to do with controlled behavior or voluntary behavior,” she said.

It is unclear how President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will handle women in the military. He has been a skeptic, but also said during his confirmation hearing he would support a combat role for women.

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UNDER THE HEADING, “WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?”: Army puts Muslim Chaplain in Charge of the Spiritual Needs of 14,000 Mostly Christian Soldiers


waving flag disclaimerAuthored By Onan Coca March 2, 2017

Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz

In one of the most head-scratching turn of events in recent military history, the Army has decided that the man most capable of handling the spiritual needs of 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers is Muslim chaplain Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz.

Sure, there are about 1,400 other chaplains (only 10 of whom are Muslim), but Shabazz has apparently done something that gives his Army superiors confidence that he’s the best man for the job.

Army Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz, a Muslim chaplain, has accepted the job of handling the spiritual affairs of 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers.

Shabazz recounted to McClatchy the offer he received to lead the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“I’m on the phone saying, ‘Thank you, I appreciate it. I’ll serve honorably,’ and then I hang up the phone and I’m jumping all around like a little kid,” Shabazz said. “I was running around the office saying, al hamdulillah, al hamdulillah, praise be to God!”

Out of 1,400 chaplains in the Army, only five are Muslim. And across all the services, there are only ten Muslim chaplains total.

“When you get the call saying you have been bestowed a division, the news is kind of like, unearthly,” Shabazz added. “The list is so small and it’s such a tough cut.”

For those concerned about the odd juxtaposition of a Muslim being in charge of the spiritual care of Christian soliders, Shabazz reminds everyone that he used to be a Christian and so he can speak to their problems using Christian language and Scripture without violating his own faith. He also recounts the story of his Christian mentor who made him promise to be a fair-minded chaplain.picture3

When he was commissioned, Shabazz said, his mentor pulled him aside for a talk.

“He said, ‘Promise me you will be an advocate for our corps no matter what the faith or the background of the person is,’ ” Shabazz recalled. “It moved me to the very essence of my core. Here you have a devout Christian who’s taken the time to care for a young Muslim soldier and make sure I got to be a chaplain. I don’t want to help just Muslims. I don’t want to help just Christians. I want to help people who are in distress.”

Shabazz has also gone a long way to reassure everyone that he has no interest in converting the soldiers who come to him for counsel, even if they may be sharing their deepest most intimate feelings and fears.

“My job is not to convert anybody to Islam. God guides people. My only goal is to have people leave my office stronger than when they came in.”

Sometimes, though, soldiers do convert and turn to Shabazz for guidance as they enter Islam. One of the most unusual conversions came just three months ago, Shabazz said. A master sergeant in the Special Forces – a man who’d come to no Friday prayers or study groups – showed up, crying, to meet with Shabazz. He told the imam he was ready to take shahada, the modest ritual to officially accept Islam.

“He said, ‘I heard you’re a good chaplain. I’ve been thinking about Islam for about three years,’ ” Shabazz recalled. “I took him down to the mosque, he took shahada and I’ve never seen him again.”culture of deceit and lies

 While this may seem like simply another step in the integration of Islam into Western culture, it’s just not so. As we’ve seen time and time again, Islam as an ideology is incompatible with Western culture. The beliefs, philosophies, and ideals of Islam are contrary to the beliefs, philosophies, and ideals of Western and American culture. On another level, the decision to give a Muslim chaplain charge of the spiritual affairs of an entire division is simply irresponsible. Instead, Chaplain Shabazz should have simply been given charge of the Muslim soldiers in the division, and one of the many qualified Christian candidates should have been given the duty to care for the mostly Christian division.

Bowing to political correctness in a matter as serious as the spiritual care of our soldiers is not simply foolish, but it is immoral and unethical. Our soldiers deserve better.picture4 Islam is NOT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Liberty Alliance media group. He’s also the managing editor at Eaglerising.com, Constitution.com and the managing partner at iPatriot.com. Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children. You can find his writing all over the web.

US military: Iranian behavior getting worse in Persian Gulf


waving flagBy Kristina Wong09/10/16

Getty Images

Iran has stepped up its harassment of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, angering the U.S. military and members of Congress.  Since the international nuclear deal with Iran was implemented in early January, the number of incidents involving U.S. and Iranian ships in the Gulf has approximately doubled. The Navy has counted at least 31 interactions with Iranian naval forces deemed “unsafe,” “unprofessional,” or both, according to a defense official. That’s about as many such interactions that occurred all of last year, according to statistics provided to Fox News.  

And those are also only counting interactions that have met the criteria of “unsafe” or “unprofessional.” Overall, there were more than 300 interactions between U.S. and Iranian forces last year. That figure includes incidents in which Iranian vessels waited for and followed U.S. ships transiting in the Persian Gulf, or sailed by with their weapons uncovered, in addition to other incidents of muscle flexing considered routine. Military officials say there is no question that the behavior is getting worse. 

“We’ve seen an uptick in confrontations by Iranian vessels in the Arabian Gulf,” Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the top U.S. commander in the region, said on Aug. 30. U.S. military officials refer to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf.

Votel also issued a rare warning to Iranian forces: “Ultimately if they continue to test us we’re going to respond and we’re going to protect ourselves and our partners.”

The last confrontation occurred just last Sunday, when seven Iranian fast attack boats confronted a U.S. Navy coastal patrol boat in international waters in the Persian Gulf.  When one of the Iranian vessels stopped directly in the path and within about 100 yards of the USS Firebolt, the U.S. vessel had to swerve to avoid a collision, defense officials said.

The confrontations are fueling anger on Capitol Hill and providing new arguments for lawmakers to enact anti-Iran legislation. Earlier this week, a group of Republican senators introduced legislation that would ban any further U.S. government payments to Iran from a Treasury Department fund, until Iran returned $1.7 billion the administration sent to Iran earlier this year to settle a dispute over an arms deal from the 1970s. fire-cash-pallet

“Iran’s harassment of a U.S. naval vessel is just the latest example of troubling and unsurprising behavior by the regime following the Obama administration’s parade of serious policy blunders that have emboldened Tehran and invited increased belligerence,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), one of the bill’s sponsors, in a statement Thursday.

Ayotte, who faces a tough reelection contest this year, also expressed concern that the money would buy “additional Iranian ships to harass U.S. Navy vessels,” among other weapons.  

“I am deeply troubled that this large infusion of U.S. taxpayer-funded cash into the defense coffers of the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism is going to further embolden Iran and result in our troops and our allies confronting more lethal and better equipped adversaries and potential adversaries,” she said. 

The administration has insisted that any money going to Iran as a result of the Iran nuclear deal is not going to Iran’s military. 

“What they’ve told us but also what we see, instead of going to the military, the money is being poured back into the economy because this is an economy that was suffering terribly,” Antony Blinken, U.S. deputy secretary of State, said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.” Leftist Propagandist

However, Blinken also said he could not guarantee that none of the money reached Hezbollah and other terrorist allies. 

“We can’t say not one single dollar. But what we can say, based on what we’ve seen so far, is that virtually all of it is going into the economy, not into the military,” he said. 

“The bottom line is this, this agreement that we’ve reached has made us safer. It’s put far into the future the day when Iran could enough material for nuclear weapons,” he said.extra bowl of stupid

U.S. officials say they can’t divine Iran’s intentions with the stepped up confrontations, but indicate the regime is directly behind them. 

“What I see is this is principally the regime leadership trying to exert their influence and authority in the region,” Votel said. 

Votel also said that “90 percent” of the unsafe, unprofessional activities come not from the “general Iranian navy,” but from the Iranian Quds Force, which experts say has close ties to the Iranian regime. Experts also expect that the confrontations will get worse.

“During the final phases of the nuclear deal negotiations, they toned it down a bit just so they wouldn’t throw the negotiations too far off track,” said the Institute for the Study of War’s Chris Harmer.  

“Now that the deal is done, my expectation is that the harassment is going to escalate and probably increase beyond anything that we’ve seen,” Harmer said. pitiful-deal-nrd-600

Viet Nam Veteran’s Day


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To all my military brothers who served in combat in Viet Nam, “WELCOME HOME.”

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The sorry state of our military: Is it happenstance or design?


March 23, 2016

The sorry state of our military: Is it happenstance or design? / Commander in Chief delivers latte salute

How it must have pained Marine Corps General John Paxton to tell Congress that his service might not be prepared for war. Last week, the Assistant Commandant candidly admitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the U.S. Marine Corps isn’t what it used to be. “I worry about the capability and the capacity to win in a major fight somewhere else right now,” said the general. He fretted over inadequate training and equipment particularly in the fields of communications, intelligence, and aviation.

Cynics might see Paxton’s testimony as a plea for more money, a quantity that isn’t usually forthcoming when no obvious shortcomings can be identified. Yet this rebuttal strikes me as an out-of-hand dismissal of Paxton’s concerns. It would also be uncharacteristic of the Marines, undoubtedly the proudest of the services, to denigrate themselves if it weren’t true. When a senior Marine officer describes the Corps as borderline dysfunctional, I believe him.

Nor is the Marine Corps alone in its negative self-assessment. Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley told Congress that his branch is prepared to do battle with ISIS — and no other potential adversary. The U.S. would probably lose a war with China, according to General Milley. Or with Russia, North Korea, or Iran. According to an Associated Press article: “Mark Milley says years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, constrained budgets and troop cuts have had a cumulative effect on the service.” Essentially, our military is capable of defeating the guys Obama described as the JV team but not a conventional force of any heft. Pathetic.

How’s the Air Force faring? If recent trends are any indicator, it may soon be incapable of fulfilling its raison d’être — air superiority. It’s been a very long time since America has gone to war without first asserting absolute dominion over the sky. Air superiority will probably be more difficult to establish in coming years as other nations, particularly China and Russia, fortify their air defenses with new technologies while we continue to fly 1970’s-era F-15s and F-16s as our primary fighters.

Air Force General Frank Gorenc, who commands NATO Allied Air Command, U.S. Air Forces Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa, is not confident that U.S. forces will be able to achieve and maintain air superiority in future conflicts. “The advantage that we had from the air, I can honestly say, is shrinking…. This is not just a Pacific problem. It’s as significant in Europe as it is anywhere else on the planet…. I don’t think it’s controversial to say [Russia has] closed the gap in capability.”

I don’t believe that any of these generals — Paxton, Milley, or Gorenc — takes pride in admitting this sorry state of affairs because it is essentially an admission of failure. Duty nonetheless dictates that they tell it like it is. They’re playing with the hand they were dealt and I doubt anyone else could do it better.

It doesn’t help that their commander-in-chief pretends not to hear what they’re saying. Just two months ago, President Obama delivered a State of the Union address in which he pooh-poohed the very idea that our armed forces are languishing in disrepair. Said Obama:

“I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.” [Emphasis added]If his mouth is open he must be lying

What a dolt. Surely he can’t believe that our military’s combat effectiveness can be measured in dollars spent? The measure of any endeavor is always results. His argument reminds me that, once upon a time, Obama was just a left-wing community activist. He still sounds like one.

Didn’t President Obama consult his top military leaders before including that remark in his speech? If he had they would have told him what they told Congress last week — namely, that the military is woefully unprepared. If we rule out the possibility that he’s never had such a conversation with the brass then we must conclude that he flippantly dismissed what they told him, probably with the same nifty factoid about military expenditures that he used at the State of the Union. Obama clearly didn’t listen to his advisors because they told him something he didn’t want to hear.

Or is there another possibility? Could it be that this president knows quite well how much the military has atrophied under his administration and he’s pleased with it? In order to prove such a claim definitively I would have to get into his mind to determine his true motives, which I obviously can’t do. There’s nothing in his public statements to indicate a hostility toward the military, though there’s enough anecdotal evidence to indicate a casual disrespect, such as his now infamous latte salute and the completely unreasonable rules of engagement he imposed on combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a man with no military experience and it shows.freedom

He’s also the president who opened all combat positions to women. That alone would have been a mistake, but of course his administration exerted downward pressure to get women into elite units such as the Army Rangers without actually requiring them to meet standards. After two women “passed” the Ranger course this summer, it came to light that they had received special assistance and unlimited opportunities to reattempt portions of the course that they had failed. “We were under huge pressure to comply,” said one Ranger instructor. “It was very much politicized.”

It seems that Obama likes the military only as a production line for historic “firsts” that he can take credit for. He’s the guy who gave us the first two female Rangers and the first openly homosexual service secretary, Eric K. Fanning. Just last week Obama nominated another “first” — the first female combatant commander, Air Force General Lori Robinson. I’m not necessarily saying that General Robinson is unqualified for the job though the fact that she was nominated by Obama, a man of unspeakably poor judgment, suggests that she’s probably a hot mess. I am however saying that if she’s truly the best candidate for the job then her sex shouldn’t matter. But to Barack Obama, it matters quite a bit because her nomination provided another “first” for his presidential legacy. Isn’t that what the military is for?

If you want to know what Barack Obama thinks about the military, look to the man he claimed as a mentor in his first memoir “Dreams From My Father”Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. Davis first became a member of the CPUSA during the Stalin era, as well as during the time of the Comintern when all communist parties around the globe met periodically in Moscow to receive their marching orders. Davis was a determined opponent of U.S. foreign policy, especially the Marshall Plan and NATO, and he hated the U.S. military which he saw as a global force for evil. To believe that the president doesn’t share even a hint of this hostility toward our armed forces is to say that Barack the protégé learned nothing from Frank the mentor, a conclusion I find plainly absurd.

If that doesn’t convince you, look at some of his other influences, such as his pastor, the anti-American firebrand Jeremiah Wright, as well as his heroes Saul Alinsky, Desmond Tutu, and the communist terrorist Nelson Mandela. Obama has always admired people who hate U.S. military power but we’re supposed to believe that he doesn’t.Alinsky Rules for Radicals

Our military has fallen on tough times, and it will be up to the next president to rehabilitate it. Whether the harm that has befallen our military is the result of mere neglect or actual malfeasance is difficult to determine though I wouldn’t rule out the latter.

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BREAKING: White House in Panic After General Reveals Cause of Deadly Chopper Crash


waving flagBy: Davis on March 17, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/white-house-in-panic

muslim-obamaThere has been an increase in the number of tragedies involving military aircraft under the Obama administration. One of these tragedies occurred on Jan. 14, when two CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters collided while training off the coast of Hawaii, killing 12 Marines.

The Washington Examiner reported that the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, has stated that the increase in these accidents has been caused by the budget cuts implemented by the Obama Unarmed-Forcesadministration.

These budget cuts limit the number of aircraft available for training and reduce the number of hours that pilots can train in existing aircraft.

This leads to a predictable increase in accidents, as well as an armed force that may not be fully ready for future combat scenarios.

“We track this very closely and the simple fact is we don’t have enough airplanes to meet training requirements for the entire force,” Neller stated during a hearing on the 2017 budget request for the armed services.

No-Boots-590-LAThese budget cuts also lead to less maintenance on aircraft because there simply isn’t enough money.

“The real bill payer for underfunded readiness is lost lives. I think that helps bring it into context for all of us,” stated Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, during his opening statement.destruction

The Obama administration has absolutely gutted the military over the past several years. Instead of giving the military the resources needed to win a war, the Obama administration has sent them into combat underfunded, ill-equipped and unprepared.

It is absolutely despicable that President Barack Obama has overseen the sharpest decline in our military’s preparedness since before World War II.

It’s too late now, but in a few months we can elect a Republican who will make sure that the military has what it needs to win wars and that money is never an issue.

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