Yeah, I know, you just want to get your holiday on. We’re all suffering from pandemic fatigue which makes everything we do more challenging.
We can’t just hop in the car and go to the store without planning ahead — not merely shopping lists but whether you have a mask, a backup mask, hand sanitizer, a container of sanitizing wipes, something in which to corral potentially contaminated items, so on. Our lives have become complicated if we’re taking the risk of COVID-19 seriously.
And we want a break from it. We want a slice of normalcy — a cold beverage in hand, burgers on the grill, fireworks overhead, fireflies after dark, family and friends all around us. And we want it now.
Some of us, though, won’t get these things. Some of us have been forgotten.
Some Americans will have to spend the coming Fourth of July holiday in a place we thought we’d have left by now, watching out for deadly attacks we thought were going to diminish.
Some Americans will have to “celebrate” knowing the commander-in-chief simply doesn’t give a rat’s butt about them. Certainly not enough to deal with pushing back at threats against them. They will have to spend the holiday doubling down on security because the president is going to do nothing except his usual nonsensical bullshit talking about himself.
Which is why some of the rest of us Americans can’t let them be forgotten. We need to continue to hold our elected officials’ feet to the fire no matter whether a holiday lies ahead. We need to insist the GOP senators who have majority control whether they are going to simply roll over and do nothing like Trump, or if they are going to uphold their oaths, do their damned jobs, and remember our service members in Afghanistan and elsewhere who have likewise sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and protect our nation.
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Here’s your action item, same as posted a couple days ago:
— If you have a GOP senator(s), call their office and ask for a statement from the senator about the Russian bounties on our troops in Afghanistan. Where do they stand? What action will the senator take?
— Share the results of your call here in the comments.
Congressional switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Or you can look up their local office number at https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact. You can also use Resistbot and ask them to respond but this will much slower than a phone call.
Here are all the GOP senators; note the ones especially who are Class II running for re-election this year. Contact only your own senator — they represent you, after all — and share what you hear from their office.
Special note to Floridians and Kentuckyians: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and other leaders in the U.S. intelligence community are supposed to brief the “Gang of Eight” today about the Russian bounties. Feedback from Sens. Rubio and McConnell will be of particular interest for this reason.
|Class I – 2024|
|Class II – 2020|
|Perdue||David||R||GA||II||Called, but no comment to date.|
|McConnell||Mitch||R||KY||II||Gang of Eight member|
|Class III – 2022|
|Rubio||Marco||R||FL||III||Gang of Eight member|
|Loeffler||Kelly||R||GA||III||Called, but no comment to date.|
 Retiring in 2020. Seat open.
 Retiring in 2020. Seat open.
 Retiring in 2020. Seat open.
 Appointed to fill John McCain’s seat, running in 2020.
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These are the forgotten Americans. There are families including children who won’t see them or hear from them this coming holiday, let alone ever again. At least two young Americans will never, ever have seen them for any holiday.
|22. Jan. 2019||Army Sgt. 1st Class Joshua “Zach” Beale, 32, killed by small-arms fire in southern Uruzgan province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/fort-bragg-green-beret-killed-in-action-was-on-third-tour-in-afghanistan-1.565656|
|22. Mar. 2019||Army Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay, 33, Cortez, Colo., died after being wounded during combat in northern Kunduz province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/us/defense-department-identifies-two-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan-1.574044|
|22. Mar. 2019||Army Sgt. Joseph P. Collette, 29, Lancaster, Ohio, died of wounds sustained in combat operations in northern Kunduz province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/us/defense-department-identifies-two-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan-1.574044|
|8. Apr. 2019||Marine Sgt. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, was one of three Marines killed by a car bomb outside Bagram Airfield.||https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/marines-killed-in-afghanistan-blast-died-only-days-before-they-were-to-come-home-1.576402/cpl-robert-hendriks-1.576470|
|8. Apr. 2019||Marine Staff Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pa., died in a car bomb explosion outside Bagram Airfield.||https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/marines-killed-in-afghanistan-blast-died-only-days-before-they-were-to-come-home-1.576402/cpl-robert-hendriks-1.576470|
|8. Apr. 2019||Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, was killed by a car bomb outside Bagram Airfield.||https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/marines-killed-in-afghanistan-blast-died-only-days-before-they-were-to-come-home-1.576402/cpl-robert-hendriks-1.576470|
|6. May. 2019||Army Spc. Miguel L. Holmes, 22, died in eastern Nangarhar province from wounds sustained in a noncombat incident.||https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/pentagon-identifies-soldier-who-died-monday-in-afghanistan-1.580080|
|25. May. 2019||Army Sgt. James G. Johnston, 24, was killed by small-arms fire in southern Uruzgan province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/us/fort-carson-green-beret-fort-hood-eod-soldier-killed-in-afghanistan-firefight-1.587825|
|25. Jun. 2019||Army Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley, 32, was killed by small-arms fire in southern Uruzgan province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/us/fort-carson-green-beret-fort-hood-eod-soldier-killed-in-afghanistan-firefight-1.587825|
|30. Jun. 2019||Army Sgt. 1st Class Elliott J. Robbins, 31, a Green Beret medical sergeant from Utah, died from noncombat injuries in southern Helmand province.||https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/07/01/10th-group-green-beret-dies-from-non-combat-incident-in-helmand/|
|23. Jul. 2019||Army Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor, 40, died from injuries sustained by enemy fire in northern Faryab province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/pentagon-identifies-green-beret-killed-in-afghanistan-1.590174|
|29. Jul. 2019||Army Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago, died after being shot by an Afghan soldier at a military camp in southern Uruzgan province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/us/the-worst-day-in-our-family-s-history-grieving-uncle-says-of-chicago-soldier-killed-in-combat-in-afghanistan-1.592728|
|29. Jul. 2019||Army Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, died after an Afghan solider opened fire at a base in southern Uruzgan province. [Never saw his son.]||https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/pentagon-names-two-paratroopers-killed-during-insider-attack-in-afghanistan-1.592589|
|21. Aug. 2019||Army Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, was one of two Green Berets killed in northern Faryab province by small-arms fire.||https://www.stripes.com/news/one-of-the-toughest-kids-i-ve-ever-met-families-mourn-green-berets-killed-in-afghanistan-1.595504|
|21. Aug. 2019||Army Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, of La Puente, Calif., was killed during a raid alongside Afghan special forces in southern Faryab province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/us/green-beret-killed-in-afghanistan-last-week-was-veteran-of-seven-deployments-1.596136|
|29. Aug. 2019||Army Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Ard, 31, died of wounds received in combat in southern Zabul province. [Never saw his second child.]||https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/green-beret-killed-in-combat-in-afghanistan-leaves-behind-daughter-pregnant-wife-1.596656|
|5. Sep. 2019||Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, 34, from Morovis, Puerto Rico, died in a suicide blast in Kabul.||https://www.stripes.com/news/army/soldier-killed-in-afghanistan-was-compassionate-leader-say-those-who-knew-him-1.597820|
|16. Sep. 2019||Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin, 40, was killed by small-arms fire in central Wardak province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/us/army-identifies-green-beret-killed-by-small-arms-fire-in-afghanistan-1.599290|
|20. Nov. 2019||Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk Fuchigami Jr., 25, was killed in a helicopter crash. The incident happened in eastern Logar province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/army/fallen-army-pilot-laid-to-rest-with-full-military-honors-1.610573|
|20. Nov. 2019||Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, was killed in a helicopter crash while providing security to ground troops in eastern Logar province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/apache-pilot-killed-in-afghanistan-gladly-and-willingly-accepted-risks-of-deploying-family-and-friends-say-1.609718|
|23. Dec. 2019||Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, was killed in a roadside bombing in northern Kunduz province.||https://www.stripes.com/news/army/special-forces-soldier-killed-in-afghanistan-remembered-as-the-definition-of-a-patriot-1.612394|
|11. Jan. 2020||Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin, 29, Newport News, Virginia, killed by an improvised explosive device.||https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/01/12/soldiers-killed-by-bomb-blast-in-kandahar-identified/|
|11. Jan. 2020||Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon, 21, Joliet, Illinois, killed by an improvised explosive device.||https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/01/12/soldiers-killed-by-bomb-blast-in-kandahar-identified/|
|27. Jan. 2020||Lt. Col. Paul K. Voss, 46, Yigo, Guam, killed in crash of an E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft in eastern Afghanistan.||https://www.airforcemag.com/dod-identifies-airmen-killed-in-e-11-crash/|
|27. Jan. 2020||Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, Hudson, N.H., killed in crash of an E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft in eastern Afghanistan.||https://www.airforcemag.com/dod-identifies-airmen-killed-in-e-11-crash/|
|8. Feb. 2020||Sgt. Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28, killed in an insider attack in Nangarhar province.||https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/02/08/report-says-multiple-us-troops-killed-in-afghanistan-firefight/|
|8. Feb. 2020||Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28, killedin an insider attack in Nangarhar province.||https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/02/08/report-says-multiple-us-troops-killed-in-afghanistan-firefight/|
Though not all of these service members may have been killed by Taliban for bounty money, they all deserve to be remembered. Their families, friends, and fellow service members deserve answers. All Americans deserve answers, accountability, and action.
When did Trump get a Presidential Daily Briefing on these bounties and what was his response that day? Why didn’t the Commander-in-Chief take action after the intelligence community learned Russia had offered bounties on U.S. service members? Why have we heard multiple different excuses — didn’t hear about, wasn’t credible, didn’t rise to level of action, it’s a hoax — rather than the truth about what happened in the executive office when this intelligence was brought to Trump’s attention?
What action will the Senate take, because the Senate under a GOP majority possesses the deciding votes for any action to be taken?
We need to do our part now to ensure a democracy. We shouldn’t need to take an oath the way every service member and member of Congress and the president do to achieve this aim. We only need to take a few minutes before the Fourth of July holiday to do it. Let’s roll.