This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
I am a furloughed defense worker and proud of it.
For 25 years, I have served, both in uniform and out, to protect all citizens and the ideals and freedoms upon which our nation endures.
While in uniform, I didn't give much thought to the issues that demarcate conservative from liberal or Republican from Democrat. I believed in a strong national defense (and still do). We were at war, Americans were counting on us and that's all that mattered; all other fights were secondary.
Four years after hanging up my uniform, I realize life is far more complicated. Luckily, my service is not.
For millions of Americans, the issue is less national security than personal security. Their lives are the pursuit of basic needs – food, shelter and security. Many go unmet.
The Affordable Care Act, for all its imperfections, attempts to address one of those fundamental needs – access to basic health care for over 30 million uninsured Americans.
Will it work? I don't know, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice today for the possibility of a better tomorrow for millions of Americans in need.
I could be bitter, but I chose the high ground. My shoulders are wide, my body strong, and I will bear this burden because 30 million Americans are counting on their government (and me) to do the right thing.
James T. Marx
Salt Lake City