Wherever you are, your vote counts

Gen. Robert H.

***image1***The most important privilege our nation provides its citizens is freedom. Our nation was built on democratic principles and one of our cherished constitutional rights is the right of each American to vote.
Today our men and women are globally engaged to help bring freedom, including the right to vote, to people around the world. By registering and voting you honor your fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who are sacrificing their personal freedoms to provide this staple of democracy.
You also reaffirm the sacred value of this privilege to many who have yet to achieve it.
It is the right to vote that allows you to elect officials who reflect your views and will speak for you in government. Why would people choose not to exercise this right?
By not voting, you abdicate that right and responsibility of citizenship that has cost so many, so much to earn. You allow others, with whom you may not agree, to select our future leadership.
The laws and policies enacted today can, and often do, influence the long-term health of our nation. And it’s our nation’s future – yours and your children’s – that should concern you today.
Take the time leading into the 2004 elections to register to vote and request your absentee ballot. The deadlines for completing and mailing a Federal Post Card Application or turning in a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot are both fast approaching. Our goal is for everyone to complete and mail their applications before or during Armed Forces Voters Week, Sept. 3 to 11, to allow applications to meet all deadlines.
America is the greatest democracy in the world. We owe it to ourselves and our great nation to get out and vote. I urge each and every one of you to make your voice heard.
I encourage you to take advantage of a privilege that people around the world continue to fight and die for – whether you are at a geographically separated unit, a one-deep special duty position or deployed in support of an Air Expeditionary Force rotation – no matter where you are, your vote counts!