Rep. Hasting's information is incorrect

Dear Editor,

The below information is my response to the September 19, 2013 edition of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, page 5, the article by U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, “Military Academy Nominations: An opportunity for Students to serve.”

Mr. Hastings,

I read your article, “Military Academy nominations: An opportunity for students to serve” with great interest, especially when you are addressing education and the military but you fail to get your information about the military correct. I would like nothing more than to address why our Congress has such low popularity ratings and is barely trusted by the American People but I believe this little incident is a good indication of why Congress can’t get the big things right. We are all fully aware you can get your pay raises passed on time and if your flights are delayed like the rest of Americans, Congress will correct that in seven days to make sure they are not inconvenienced.

But let’s focus on your “Military Academy nominations” fluff article. In paragraph number two, you mention you are honored to have the opportunity to nominate Central Washington students to the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The last time I checked we had five primary military services in this country, The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard. I believe the one you are missing is the U.S. Coast Guard. Off the top of my head, I also believe they have an academy. What a simple fact but it leads to greater concerns, have you ever recommended anyone to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy?

As a Congressman, you had a simple fluff article to put out in the local newspaper and yet you couldn’t get it right. If your response is some assistant or aide got it wrong, I still lay the blame at your feet because you failed to proofread information that was going to have your name and title associated with it. If we citizens cannot trust you to get a fluff article correct, what could we possibly believe you are doing correctly in Congress with the important paperwork and legislation?

Having just received your 24 September 2013 Congressional solicitation letter asking for more contributions and the P.S. at the end that states you have become a top target for the Obama attack machine, I would say buck up shipmate! Put some starch in your spine and demonstrate some leadership. You’re not sent to Congress to get rich and be popular. Your sent to Congress to fight the good fight and absolutely become a target if you are doing your job correctly.

P.S. When I do sign a check for a donation it will be for someone fighting for all Americans but especially the military that serves this great country. Not someone fighting the government to a standstill so the military people you mentioned in your article that you care about suffer from increased stress fearing their paychecks will be cut in half or stopped. In the future as a leader, I wouldn’t recommend standing next to Mr. John Boehner, he hasn’t demonstrated leadership since he took office.

Marc Alden, LCDR (ret)

U.S. Coast Guard