October 4, 1946
As a Naval officer, I've been all over the world, and one of the foundational lessons I learned was that parents everywhere would like to raise their children to a higher standard of living in a peaceful environment. That's a universal goal for families.
I was in the military for over 40 years, and one of the principles I kept with me was that there's an expectation globally that the U.S. will lead. Questions about that expectation have certainly risen in recent years. The fact that there's even a question about that is worrisome to me, and I think needs to be for a lot of people.
Some 70% to 80% of all who join the military will return to the civilian workforce. They'll return to communities, and one of the things I've worried about is the increasing disconnect between the American people and our men and women in uniform. We come from fewer and fewer places. We're less than 1% of the population.