Defending Our Security; Protecting Our Freedoms
“Our nation has started an important conversation over the last few months, but that conversation has been hijacked by radicals who, in the face of rioting, arson, and violence, want to defund the police. Unlike my opponent, I firmly reject the radicals and their anti-police agenda.“
– Amanda Adkins
The security of our nation and the safety of our communities is critical to protecting our freedoms. This is why I support a strong military that values the service of our veterans, as well as effective local law enforcement that protects our local communities.
When elected to Congress, I will be committed to:
- Supporting a strong national military that is well positioned to defend our freedoms;
- Ensuring our nation’s veterans are supported after their time in uniform; and
- Promoting effective and responsible local law enforcement that protects all members of our communities.
Protecting the United States and our Constitution
The United States has the greatest military in the world. A strong national defense is paramount to the protection of our country’s interest and to supporting our allies across the globe. The primary responsibility of the U.S. Government is to provide its citizens a strong and effective defense of our nation. This function is the most important task we give our elected officials. We simply cannot fail when it comes to protecting and defending our nation.
Supporting our military is critical to protecting our Constitutional freedoms. As I have always done, when elected to Congress I will be a staunch supporter of our military and will ensure the country is continually positioned to defend our Constitutional freedoms. I am committed to ensuring our troops have the resources they need to defend our interests and protect us from threats domestically and abroad.
As Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Honoring and Serving our Veterans
It is because of the brave men and women in uniform who serve our nation that you and I are able to enjoy our freedoms. Those who serve our country deserve to be honored and supported when they leave the military.
Today’s military is one that leaves invisible wounds of war that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) are not adequately addressing. As a nation, we need a serious conversation about the service we are providing our veterans after their time in uniform. Specifically, I am committed to changing the narrative in veterans affairs to ensure we are properly addressing the mental health of those who serve.
The VA reported in June 2018 that veteran suicides were two to 10 times greater than non-veteran suicides. This is attributed to increased incidences of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) within the military veteran population. What is more concerning is that many approaches used by the VA and DoD are not adequately addressing the needs of our nation’s veterans.
Many healthcare providers and veterans themselves report the methods used by the VA and DoD, such as cognitive and behavioral therapies and the overuse of prescription drugs, are not working. According to a 2014 survey by The American Legion, 59% of veterans felt no improvement after being treated for TBI and PTSD.
Furthermore, accessibility to health care remains an issue within the veteran population. While there have been some improvements in access to care and wait times, there is still significant room for improvement to ensure veterans are receiving timely, convenient and effective care.
When elected, I will advocate for choice and accessibility in veteran health care. We must give those who serve the personal choice of selecting healthcare services that meet their needs. Veterans should not be restricted to using only government-provided services. Veterans should be allowed to seek the type of care they choose at the location they determine is best for them – and the cost of these services should be covered by the VA. We owe it to our nation’s finest to be able to access the care they need on their own terms.
Defending Local Law Enforcement; Protecting our Communities
Similar to the needs of veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders deserve our respect and support. We must support police and the entire law enforcement community. We should protect the due process of law and preserve our constitutional liberties.
A well-funded, well-equipped, well-staffed, well-trained police force is critical to the safety, security, and success of any community. This is why I joined elected officials across the country in signing the Police Pledge, a promise to stand with law enforcement and oppose dangerous proposals to “defund the police.”
Our nation has started an important conversation over the last few months, but that conversation has been hijacked by radicals who, in the face of rioting, arson, and violence, want to defund the police. Unlike my opponent, I firmly reject the radicals and their anti-police agenda. I proudly stand with the brave men and women who keep our communities and country safe.
We must encourage good people to pursue careers in law enforcement, bringing law enforcement and the communities they serve closer together. People want to live, work and invest in communities that are safe. It is a matter of economic security and prosperity that we keep our communities safe and enforce the rule of law. We must improve the trust between law enforcement and communities, and we cannot tolerate violence in any form.
I am proud of our local law enforcement, particularly in Johnson County where recruitment and retention practices within the Sheriff’s office have kept attrition low and the community in strong support of law enforcement. Programs such as Blue Eagle Academy through the Shawnee Mission School District, allow high school students to explore careers in public safety, while building and maintaining a relationship between the community and law enforcement. The Sheriff’s office has built a culture of professionalism and they do everything possible to take care of those who protect our community. This model should be celebrated and built upon throughout the country.
Unfortunately, this is not the case in every community. In some areas across the country police officers are leaving the force in record numbers, leaving an increasing need for well-trained law enforcement officers. We must address their needs and safety. We must empower police departments to be more efficient and enable local decision making that is health forward and builds support around the officers. We must address the physical, emotional and mental toll a career in law enforcement takes on officers and their families.
When elected, I will support policies that respect and honor the law enforcement community. I will pursue policies that empower law enforcement to protect their communities and preserve our freedoms.
When elected, I intend to be an advocate in Washington for our military, our veterans and the law enforcement community. I believe those who serve deserve the best in return. Defunding the police is not the answer to the social unrest in our country. I am committed to working with law enforcement to have a results-oriented approach to decreasing violence in our communities. I will support those who defend and protect our freedom, ensuring its existence for future generations.