By: Senator Martha McSally
Wednesday night we will hear from Republican leaders and everyday heroes at the Republican convention. The inspiring stories should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans about what is at stake in this election: freedom and opportunity.
I am honored to serve the people of Arizona in the Senate. When I was sworn into the House in 2015, and again to the Senate in 2019, I took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution. It’s the same oath I and countless other service members took when we served our country in uniform.
While not all Americans take this oath in formal fashion, I know that patriotic duty is written on the hearts of millions of heroes across our country. Not only have we heard from many of those heroes throughout this convention, but we also know them personally: they are our neighbors, our doctors and nurses, our teachers, and our law enforcement officers.
For me, one of these heroes was my dad, Bernard McSally. My dad came from humble circumstances. Both his parents passed away at a young age, and he had to start working at the age of 8. He went on to serve in the Navy and used his GI Bill, driven to make a better life for our family.
When I was just 12 years old, my dad passed away suddenly from a heart attack. His early death had a profound impact on me then, and still does to this day. As anyone who has lost a family member too early knows, the grief can be crippling.
At the age of 18, I decided to follow in his footsteps of military service and headed off to the Air Force Academy, thousands of miles from home.
The road to achieving this dream was not easy, but I pursued it relentlessly and eventually became the first U.S. woman to fly a fighter jet in combat and the first woman to command a fighter squadron in combat.
Like many before me, after my time in uniform came to a close, I still felt the call to serve my country. So, I put on a new uniform and deployed to Congress.
While my battlefield is different, my mission remains the same: I am fighting every day for our freedoms and our future.
Before this once-in-a-century pandemic, America was soaring to new heights. As a result of rolling back onerous regulations and cutting taxes for middle-class families, we had the strongest economy of my lifetime.
We began rebuilding our military, which was decimated after years of cuts under the Obama-Biden administration.
We confirmed more than 200 young conservative judges and secured our border.
And we did all this in the face of unprecedented obstruction from a Democrat Party that has embraced and made mainstream the radical liberal ideas of the Bernie Sanders wing.
These extreme, once-fringe ideas are now the foundation of the Biden-Harris platform. Ideas like raising taxes, total government takeover of health care, defunding the police, decriminalizing illegal border crossing, and ceding our leadership role on the global stage to adversaries like China are all pillars of the modern Democrat Party.
These ideas would destroy the very foundation of our republic and that’s why I’m fighting like hell to stop them.