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America has the most effective military in the world because of the extraordinary strength of our soldiers and their families.  First and foremost, my goal is to protect our service members and ensure that they return home safely.  While we have been fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq for nearly a decade, it is tempting for critics of these wars to call for actions that could jeopardize the safety of our soldiers and undermine the progress they have built.  I agree that American forces should begin to withdraw from Afghanistan.  We must do so in a way that does not jeopardize our troops or cause our successes to be lost. 

Our district is home to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division.  This unique research base, located in Martin County, is critical for success in any time of war. I believe there are ways the Department of Defense (DOD) can become more efficient and use taxpayer funds more wisely, while not sacrificing the readiness and safety of our military.  While our nation’s warriors deserve the best federal funding, tightening of the DOD budget through more effective and efficient procurement is warranted in these difficult financial times.

Those who served our country deserve the utmost respect and I am grateful for their service. I served in the military as a United States Navy Reservist for almost a decade, and it is my belief that we must never forget the sacrifices made by our nation's veterans. We must always honor the commitments we have made to those who have served our country.