My family holds those who serve in the military in the highest regard. My father, Richard Duke Caron, is a Marine and served on the front lines in the Korean War; my son served with the U.S. Coast Guard; and I help plant 15,000 American flags by the tombs of fallen veterans every Memorial Day.

I was raised with a sense of patriotic duty and respect for the military and our veterans, and I raised my children to share that respect. That is why I was dismayed and upset to see a recent letter writer criticize my patriotism.

I support military recruiters in uniform having access to students. And after careful consideration on a final vote, I joined with 96 other lawmakers to support a bill to ensure there were no barriers to implementing the federal law that requires Maine schools to provide that access. Federal law requires schools that receive federal funding to give recruiters the same access as college recruiters.

There is no evidence that recruiters in uniform are being kept out of Maine schools. A nonpartisan U.S. Army spokesman said the Army has no problems in Maine. “In fact, quite the opposite,” said J.C. Allard, of the Army’s New England Recruiting Battalion. “Schools would want to know who’s on their campus, and that uniform is a dead giveaway.”

The military is a great career for our youth. After all, my son joined right out of high school, and I supported him.

As a parent and lawmaker, I support our veterans. I supported a new law that will help our veterans and their families get back to work. Let’s focus on the measures that will actually help members of our military and veterans, rather than getting caught up in a political fight.

Rep. Catherine Nadeau


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