Marine veteran of Beirut knows what it means to serve
I served in the Marine Corps during the Beirut Bombing, and much like post 9/11 veterans will tell you, serving in the military during a time of crisis changes the way you feel about service – to your fellow citizens, to your community, and to your nation. Crisis can bring out the worst in humanity, make us fearful and hateful. It can divide us against one another and lead to irreparable damage.
Crisis can also bring out the very best in people. It can inspire us all to rise to the challenge of service. It can strengthen our resolve and reaffirm our commitments to the ideals we hold in the highest esteem.
Our nation is in that time of crisis now, with a global pandemic most directly impacting our elderly Americans we’re facing a shortage of poll workers. In an explosively charged political climate we’re expecting another record voter turnout on general election day. On top of all that, there is a growing disinformation campaign trying to convince American voters that our electoral system is corrupt, mismanaged, and broken.
It’s time for all of us to step up and serve.
That’s why I’ve signed up to serve as a volunteer poll worker in my county this November. After training and certification, I’m looking forward to ensuring that the voting process in Nebraska is transparent, fair, and accessible to every citizen of this country.
I’m serving this election season because I believe that voting is not only a constitutional right, but a civic duty that should not be taken for granted. As a woman of color, I know what it took to build a society where I can walk to the polling place without fear, and I plan on helping ensure the votes of every citizen are cast without fear and counted without fail.
Other veterans can be a part of the process on Nov 3rd by volunteering too. Our service doesn’t stop when we take off our uniforms, it’s part of our sacred obligation to our country. What better way to uphold our oath to the constitution that by protecting the electoral process enshrined within it?
I remember my first election, proudly casting my ballot as a 18-yr-old Marine. That night I stood in my unit’s communications center and watched as the election results rolled in, and my next commander-in-chief was announced. I haven’t missed an election since. This year I look forward to not only casting my ballot, but ensuring that my neighbors can cast theirs too – whether it’s their first vote, or their 25th.
There are a number of things that sets the U.S. apart from other nations and our democratic elections are one of the finest. This year, I call on my fellow veterans to do what our nation counts on us to do – step up, sign up, and serve as poll workers.