Via military veteran MJ Hegar, U.S. Senate candidate for Texas 31st District:
As a young lieutenant in the Air Force, I watched in horror as the September 11th attacks unfolded in real time on the news. Seeing thousands of Americans killed, I wondered: why is this happening?
The attack on our country was a wake-up call for me and many of my fellow soldiers. I was at a transformative age; things that were once black and white were suddenly grey. Those of us who wore the uniform would soon confront missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was our duty and we took up the call to serve. We fulfilled our oaths to our country.
My oath — to support and defend our Constitution — guided me then and guides me still today. I promised to defend against threats both foreign and domestic, and I’ve been outraged watching elected leaders violate their oaths of office by putting politics over country again and again.
Back then I also learned the importance of allies, and how critical it is to stay true to the promises we make to them. In the past few years, our leadership has failed to make good on our word, and in doing so has put our national security and the next generation putting on the uniform at risk. We must do better by our troops.
We owe it to those who wear the uniform to ensure that we hand down the most stable foreign policy environment possible to the next generation of service members. While there truly are some things worth fighting for, those who take the oath of office — regardless of politics or party — must prioritize diplomacy and make foreign policy decisions with the understanding of the terrible cost of war.
Almost twenty years after 9/11, our country faces new and different, but equally pressing, crises. In so many ways, our leaders have failed us. But, as we witnessed in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, we can and must come together to help and protect one another.
On this sorrowful anniversary, may we pause to remember those we lost in the horrific attacks on our country. May we also acknowledge all we have to do to overcome the challenges we face, and be reminded of our capacity to do so. There is no cavalry coming to save us. We are the calvary, and we must rise to the occasion once again.
— MJ Hegar
MJ Hegar was a member of the US Air Force and the Air National Guard. Use of her military rank, job, titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement from the Department of Defense, Air Force, or Air National Guard.
MJ for Texas
P.O. Box 7156
Round Rock, TX 78683