Gillespie/Cox – Best votes for vets
From my perspective as a 30-year Army vet, advocate for veterans and 23 years’ service as Del. Kirk Cox’s Legislative Aide, I believe Ed Gillespie is the best choice for Governor.
As the son of a World War II infantryman & Silver Star recipient and with parents buried in a military cemetery, Ed knows the value of military service and sacrifice. As counselor to President George W. Bush (’43), he also knows first-hand the burdens and concerns a leader has for soldiers and veterans who carry the wounds of war. President Bush recently publicly praised Ed’s compassion and ability to get things done.
I have known Ed Gillespie since 2006 when I served on a committee he chaired. He was the most effective chairman in the 16 years I was on the committee – he gets things done. Over the years I have had maintained contact with Ed and know his strong support for our military and veterans. I was with Ed and Del. Cox for an extensive visit to Fort Lee to get detailed information on soldier to civilian transition programs and special support for military children.
I was also at the Sitter Barfoot Veterans Care Center when Gillespie and Cox went to see one of the most advanced care centers in the nation to promote establishing two new care centers in Virginia. I was also there when they visited McGuire Veterans Hospital.
In August 2016, Ed established a Military/Veterans Policy Group to develop a plan to provide better support to our veterans, military members and their families. I had the honor of serving on that group. In July 2017, Ed released his 15 point Veterans/Military plan (https://edforvirginia.com/ veterans), one of 20 plans Ed has to make Virginia a better place to work, live and raise a family.
While his opponent stresses his VMI roots and service as an Army doctor, he has done little for veterans since. In his six years in the Senate he put in three veteran related bills. In contrast, Del. Cox put in an average of five pieces of veteran/military legislation annually for over 20 years. Kirk also sat on several veteran/military boards/commissions over the years and attended virtually every meeting. Ralph Northam, by contrast, has a reputation for being AWOL from meetings.
The Lt. Gov. has also strayed from his VMI roots. In September he released a statement supporting taking down Confederate statues, stressing he would be a “vocal advocate for that approach.” VMI Superintendent, General Peay, USA (Ret) and the Board of Visitors, voted to keep VMI Confederate statues up, a view consistent with that supported by Ed Gillespie. Asked about the views of the VMI community on the decision, Peay said “almost all” of the comments he received came from people “worried that we will be politically correct and change something in our history that we should not change.” Peay noted “sometimes the best leaders don’t make decisions in times of emotions.”
We need a steady leader who makes solid decisions, has detailed plans to lead Virginia forward, and the dedication to make his commitments. Governor Ed Gillespie and Speaker Cox will be a very effective team fully supporting our veterans and our military in Virginia.