Rick Barker | Veterans Have No Better Friend

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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As a Vietnam combat-wounded Marine veteran, I can tell you firsthand that the difference in the way all veterans are treated now is light years ahead of how we were treated in the 1960s and 1970s, and in some cases and in some areas of the country, clear into the 1980s. If you were around then, even if you weren’t in the service, you know what I’m talking about.

Fast forward to today in this VERY patriotic and military-friendly Santa Clarita Valley, and it makes an old worn-out grunt like me so proud I tear up now and then when someone pulls up next to me at a stop light having noticed my Purple Heart license plate and gives me a thumbs up or rolls down their window and thanks me for my service.

One of the incredibly satisfying things about being around Rep. Mike Garcia is witnessing firsthand his enormous respect for and support of ALL military veterans and their families. An Iraq War naval aviator himself, Congressman Garcia knows what it’s like to be there and also knows the hardships endured by the families of those serving and especially those who have lost a loved one in a war. Congressman Garcia has personally organized food drives for veterans in need and he and his supporters are always there donating food, household essentials and even cash cards for veterans and their families who may be down on their luck and in need of some help. He has also assisted numerous veterans through his congressional office with matters involving their government veterans benefits as well as being extremely involved in getting people out of Afghanistan who were abandoned by the Joe Biden administration. 

And again, Congressman Garcia never asks nor does he care who you voted for or what political party, if any, you may belong to. The only two requirements are being a veteran and being in need of help. He could care less who you voted for or what your political views are. All he cares about is helping you and thanking you for your service to the country that he loves so deeply.

Contrast this with the video of Christy Smith and her team on a conference call laughing and mocking Mike Garcia for mentioning that he was a naval aviator and Iraq War veteran in his campaign ads. Do a search yourself using “Christy Smith Mocks Mike Garcia’s Military Service” as your search criteria. After she got outed for this by people who saw the clip, she issued a VERY lame and disingenuous apology to Mike. But, I’m still waiting to hear her apology to veterans in general for her and her staff’s stupid remarks about her being more qualified than Mike because she has a shelf of law books on the wall behind her while all Mike has is a picture of him and his FA-18 Super Hornet behind his desk. And, she conveniently leaves out the fact that as a naval aviator he also held top-secret security clearances. 

She has never held a job requiring anything even close to the lowest level of government security clearance. Congressman Garcia went to Washington with a vast amount of hands-on experience in national security issues and has expanded on that with more hands-on experience as a congressman.

Here’s the list of the House committees and caucuses Congressman Garcia sits on while Ms. Smith sits in her office with her law books on the shelves behind her collecting dust: China Task Force; Election Integrity Caucus; House Committee on Appropriations; Bipartisan SALT Caucus; Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies; Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies; House Committee on Science, Space and Technology; Subcommittee on Energy; Bipartisan For Country Caucus; and the Republican Study Committee.

Pardon me Ms. Smith, but I’ll take hands-on experience and a verifiable track record over never-read books on a shelf any day of the week.

Rick Barker


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