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10.07.2004

A letter to my Father

Dear Dad,

I hope everything is going well for you. It was good to talk to you last weekend. I enjoy it when you call and I feel bad because we don't talk as much as we should.

I don't know if I tell you this enough, but I respect you and I have always admired your strength, wisdom and honesty. That's why I was surprised when you said you were leaning towards voting for George Bush in the upcoming election.

I am a lifelong Democrat, proud and strong in my beliefs because of the values and lessons you taught me. The lessons I have taken from you were not preached to me but were instead, learned by example, by watching the way you have lived your life.

Helping those less fortunate, judging people by their actions, working hard, taking personal responsibility, telling the truth, standing up for what is right but only fighting when there is no other choice, and spending money wisely; these are all traits that you have passed on to me and I hope to pass on to your grandchildren.

You said that you don't trust John Kerry because of the things you have read and seen about him. I agree there are some awful things being said about things John Kerry did in the past but I don't believe many of them are true and the few that are have been twisted and manipulated to make them seem much worse.

You joined the military as a young man and served your country honorably. So did John Kerry. So did I.

You passed that pride in our military on to me and I want to thank you for giving me a sincere respect for the men and women who serve our country. I joined the military trying to live up to the standard you set. I served proudly knowing that I was part of a tradition of sacrifice and honor. I hope I earned your respect.

A great deal of money has been spent by his opponents and others to take away John Kerry's pride in his service, his patriotism and his status as a war veteran. I think that is one of the worst things that has come out of this election. When George Bush had the chance to serve his country, he didn't, but many people tout him as the more patriotic of the two. That is not honest and it is not right.

John Kerry volunteered and fought when his country was at war and when he was done fighting, he took a stance against it, but never the soldiers. He has always supported our troops even when it meant pointing out the failures of a president and the military commanders who were not allowing them to win. He did this because he thought it was honorable to look out for those men and women who were killing and dying for a mistaken idea. He was attacked and maligned for it but he kept on until all of those soldiers were brought home. He didn't do it for political reasons. He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do.

I hope that I have made you proud of me and I know that I would not be the man I am today without having you as my father. I know you are one of the most decent and honorable men I have ever met in my life and I also know that you would never make a decision based on anything but your sincerely held beliefs. That is why what I am about to ask you is so difficult.

Dad, I want you to listen to me and trust my perception as your son, as an American, as a former soldier and, most importantly, as a man. I am going to vote for John Kerry because I honestly believe he is our only hope to change the mess George Bush and his administration have created. I have friends serving in the military today who tell me that the situation in Iraq is terrible and getting worse. I can see the national debt building up so fast that your unborn grandson will still be paying off the bills this administration is running up when he has children of his own.

I want to believe in the President of our country. I want to believe he is an honorable and truthful man. I don't believe George Bush is that man. The world is not safer, the world is not freer, American is less respected and every day, some of our liberty is slowly worn away.

Please vote for John Kerry in this election Dad. I believe it is the right thing to do. I believe it is what you have taught me to do my whole life.

Your Son,

Steven

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