(August 25, 2014) A co-chairman of the Senate National Guard Caucus says the country may be overlooking the severity of the current threats because it is tired of war after 13 years and asked NGAUS to help him convince citizens and lawmakers that now is not the time to cut the military.
"I need you more than I ever have in my political life," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a keynote speaker at the 136th General Conference and Exhibition ending today in Chicago.
Speaking Saturday on the conference's first day, Graham said the Budget Control Act that resulted in the budget cuts known as sequestration were a result of lawmakers putting domestic politics above national security.
"We've lost our way," said Graham, who has served in the active component and the National Guard and is currently in the Reserves.
But he said the threats posed by terrorists such as ISIS in Iraq and Syria are real.
"Those bastards are not going to quit until somebody makes them quit," he said.
So America must shake off its reluctance to continue fighting overseas battle and come to grips with the reality it faces, he said.
"You can't be war weary when people who want to destroy your way of life are just getting started," he said. "We may be tired of fighting them, but they're not tired of fighting us."
He urged Guardsmen to use their voices through NGAUS to convince Congress to maintain a strong military and reverse the defense cuts.
Referring to the conference them of "National Guard: Now More Than Ever," he said, "We need you—NGAUS, the association—now more than ever."