What initiatives, such as the Solomon amendment, have they sponsored to strengthen recruiting efforts for our all-volunteer force? Unlike The Citadel, many high schools and colleges nationwide restrict the access students have to meet with military recruiters on campus and refuse to host the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). What have these candidates done to expand our military, such as pushing for a military presence on campus at schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford?
If we can all agree that America is the best country in the world, then why can't we agree that America should be readily protected by the strongest military in the world and that having the strongest military in the world means we need to encourage as many people from as many places as possible to serve voluntarily? Furthermore, can't we all agree that members of the military should be treated with the utmost respect at all times through words and, much more importantly, deeds?
As America and the Western world continue the long-war throughout the world with radical jihadists, my peers and I are going to need more help, not less, if we expect to be victorious as we step into roles of military and civilian leadership.
If liberals continue to not support the mission, then they will inevitably not "support the troops" by not funding them. Going into armed conflict, knowing that you are not as strong as you could be because of unsupportive people and policies back home, will hopefully be a situation no soldier has to face. Either liberals do not understand how real this possibility is, or they are actively seeking to make it a reality.
My freshman year at The Citadel I learned many things. I was instructed how to shine shoes, how to march in formation, and even how to eat properly. But two of the most important lessons cadets at The Citadel learn are the importance of being completely honest and respecting those who serve in the armed forces. I, of course, hope the candidates in Monday's debate will learn these lessons while here, but as Ronald Reagan once said, "If history teaches anything, it teaches that self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly."
W. Stovall Witte III is a junior class cadet at The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina. Witte is active in Young America's Foundation's programs and a student leader on campus.