A SEAL Goes to Congress

Retired Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke is running for re-election as Montana’s sole congressman. He is in a tight race against a Democrat liberal enough to make Hillary Clinton appear like a conservative. Recently, those who served in the U.S. armed forces, like Zinke, have decided to extend their service by becoming the new leaders in Washington DC. He interviewed with American Thinker, sounding off about issues important to him and this country.

Once elected, Zinke knew he must wade through the waters once again, but this time as the first Navy SEAL to go to Congress. Having to maneuver through the Washington bureaucracy has been a lot harder than performing his duties as a SEAL. “I went to Congress to give veterans a voice and because we understand what it takes to get the job done. We are less Red or Blue, but more Red, White, and Blue. Having been overseas we understand the importance of how national security/defense are critical in keeping this country free.”

A twenty-three-year veteran, he ended his military career as a commander and trainer. This propelled him to understand what it takes to become a U.S. representative, bringing character and leadership to Washington. He told American Thinker, “When you go out on the field, when you’re in battle, then you have to operate as a team and understand you’re doing it for a higher purpose. I think we should re-establish what the higher purpose is. We were all sent here, Republican or Democrat, to represent our district and also look at what’s in the best interest of this country.”

One of the most important issues to him is the vetting of Middle Eastern refugees. He helped to sponsor the American Safe Act, which passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote in November 2015. The bill’s purpose is to bolster the refugee screening process. After hearing the FBI director’s testimony he knew that it is very difficult to vet these refugees because there is no database. Having fought in Iraq he understands “In Iraq and Syria you’re looking at a country that doesn’t have indoor plumbing. And yet we think that we have a database where we can determine who is a terrorist, who is a terrorist sympathizer? And who is not and who is an innocent victim? Quite frankly, we don’t have the database because a database doesn’t exist. So I think the right path is to make sure we have a vetting process where we can identify the threat. And we need to stop and pause. Provide more transparency. And when we do have refugees, we need to ensure those refugees are not terrorists. I see it as extremely dangerous since we are still at war.”

Since he has Jewish family members, he agrees that people should not be comparing the refugees of today with the Jewish refugees escaping the Nazis. “For me it’s like two completely different subsets, apples and oranges. Some of the refugees today seem to have no allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and do not assimilate well. There should be experts trained to determine a high threat, medium threat, and low threat. Just look how this administration processed illegal immigrants who were supposed to be deported, but were granted illegal status here.”

He also agrees with those who do not want to give away any game plan on how to defeat ISIS. “Mrs. Clinton says we should not use ground troops to defeat them, but we already have troops in Syria and Iraq. So she is either misleading or ignorant. I assure you she is not the latter. She wants to be president, but what is her vision? We never want to telegraph our intent. Our troops need to be able to win decisively by having the right training, equipment, and rules of engagement. We need to leave all options on the table, and never give away specific tactics, procedures, and techniques. Troops today don’t feel like this administration has their back and want to win. Troops under fire do not get sufficient support because there is a higher priority towards collateral damage than in protecting our troops.”

He also feels that “our allies do not trust us and our enemies do not fear us. As a result, we see a more aggressive Russia, an expanding China in the South China Sea, and an emboldened Iran. My gut tells me it is not a coincidence North Korea is testing nuclear weapons, while Iran is launching ICBM missiles.”

Domestically, this administration seems to favor the criminals, trying to make gun control a priority. They do not seem to understand that the criminals always seem to have the ability to get guns. For Zinke, “The 2nd Amendment is not negotiable and is an individual freedom. Citizens cannot get an AK-47 automatic weapon as the military does. We in Montana hold our weapons as a Constitutional right and are extremely responsible. We want to make sure weapons do not get into the hands of felons and terrorists.”

Recently, his opponent attacked him because he was receiving disability pay, calling him selfish and hypocritical. He was attacked for telling people to stop relying on the government, while at the same time collecting a disability check. This from a person who has never served in the armed forces and has never put her life on the line. Leave it to the liberals to compare this to a welfare handout. Zinke explained, “It was earned combat special forces pay. Because our body takes a toll we are compensated for the damage it has received. Clearly my opponent does not understand the sacrifice of our veterans.”

Zinke has not forgotten his military brothers and sisters. This year he cosponsored a bill to authorize a national memorial dedicated to those who have fought in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). He feels that on this fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, without any end in sight, where there was a great loss of life, they should be honored. “Under current law, Congress would have to wait ten years after a war is over to create a memorial. This bill would exempt the GWOT from this restriction and allow the GWOT Foundation to begin building a national memorial to honor the more than 4,500 American troops who fell in combat and the countless more who return home with physical, mental, and emotional scars. It's a disservice to the warriors and to the families to not have it. This legislation will allow our warriors and their loved ones to have a place to reflect.”

It is evident that these generations of fighters who return home continue to serve their country. In Congress they exhibit many of the same traits as they did on the battlefield. They are patriotic, believe in one country under G-d, recognize the need for sacrifice, and know what it takes to complete a successful mission. Too bad there are not more people in Congress like Ryan Zinke.

The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

Retired Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke is running for re-election as Montana’s sole congressman. He is in a tight race against a Democrat liberal enough to make Hillary Clinton appear like a conservative. Recently, those who served in the U.S. armed forces, like Zinke, have decided to extend their service by becoming the new leaders in Washington DC. He interviewed with American Thinker, sounding off about issues important to him and this country.

Once elected, Zinke knew he must wade through the waters once again, but this time as the first Navy SEAL to go to Congress. Having to maneuver through the Washington bureaucracy has been a lot harder than performing his duties as a SEAL. “I went to Congress to give veterans a voice and because we understand what it takes to get the job done. We are less Red or Blue, but more Red, White, and Blue. Having been overseas we understand the importance of how national security/defense are critical in keeping this country free.”

A twenty-three-year veteran, he ended his military career as a commander and trainer. This propelled him to understand what it takes to become a U.S. representative, bringing character and leadership to Washington. He told American Thinker, “When you go out on the field, when you’re in battle, then you have to operate as a team and understand you’re doing it for a higher purpose. I think we should re-establish what the higher purpose is. We were all sent here, Republican or Democrat, to represent our district and also look at what’s in the best interest of this country.”

One of the most important issues to him is the vetting of Middle Eastern refugees. He helped to sponsor the American Safe Act, which passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote in November 2015. The bill’s purpose is to bolster the refugee screening process. After hearing the FBI director’s testimony he knew that it is very difficult to vet these refugees because there is no database. Having fought in Iraq he understands “In Iraq and Syria you’re looking at a country that doesn’t have indoor plumbing. And yet we think that we have a database where we can determine who is a terrorist, who is a terrorist sympathizer? And who is not and who is an innocent victim? Quite frankly, we don’t have the database because a database doesn’t exist. So I think the right path is to make sure we have a vetting process where we can identify the threat. And we need to stop and pause. Provide more transparency. And when we do have refugees, we need to ensure those refugees are not terrorists. I see it as extremely dangerous since we are still at war.”

Since he has Jewish family members, he agrees that people should not be comparing the refugees of today with the Jewish refugees escaping the Nazis. “For me it’s like two completely different subsets, apples and oranges. Some of the refugees today seem to have no allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and do not assimilate well. There should be experts trained to determine a high threat, medium threat, and low threat. Just look how this administration processed illegal immigrants who were supposed to be deported, but were granted illegal status here.”

He also agrees with those who do not want to give away any game plan on how to defeat ISIS. “Mrs. Clinton says we should not use ground troops to defeat them, but we already have troops in Syria and Iraq. So she is either misleading or ignorant. I assure you she is not the latter. She wants to be president, but what is her vision? We never want to telegraph our intent. Our troops need to be able to win decisively by having the right training, equipment, and rules of engagement. We need to leave all options on the table, and never give away specific tactics, procedures, and techniques. Troops today don’t feel like this administration has their back and want to win. Troops under fire do not get sufficient support because there is a higher priority towards collateral damage than in protecting our troops.”

He also feels that “our allies do not trust us and our enemies do not fear us. As a result, we see a more aggressive Russia, an expanding China in the South China Sea, and an emboldened Iran. My gut tells me it is not a coincidence North Korea is testing nuclear weapons, while Iran is launching ICBM missiles.”

Domestically, this administration seems to favor the criminals, trying to make gun control a priority. They do not seem to understand that the criminals always seem to have the ability to get guns. For Zinke, “The 2nd Amendment is not negotiable and is an individual freedom. Citizens cannot get an AK-47 automatic weapon as the military does. We in Montana hold our weapons as a Constitutional right and are extremely responsible. We want to make sure weapons do not get into the hands of felons and terrorists.”

Recently, his opponent attacked him because he was receiving disability pay, calling him selfish and hypocritical. He was attacked for telling people to stop relying on the government, while at the same time collecting a disability check. This from a person who has never served in the armed forces and has never put her life on the line. Leave it to the liberals to compare this to a welfare handout. Zinke explained, “It was earned combat special forces pay. Because our body takes a toll we are compensated for the damage it has received. Clearly my opponent does not understand the sacrifice of our veterans.”

Zinke has not forgotten his military brothers and sisters. This year he cosponsored a bill to authorize a national memorial dedicated to those who have fought in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). He feels that on this fifteenth anniversary of 9/11, without any end in sight, where there was a great loss of life, they should be honored. “Under current law, Congress would have to wait ten years after a war is over to create a memorial. This bill would exempt the GWOT from this restriction and allow the GWOT Foundation to begin building a national memorial to honor the more than 4,500 American troops who fell in combat and the countless more who return home with physical, mental, and emotional scars. It's a disservice to the warriors and to the families to not have it. This legislation will allow our warriors and their loved ones to have a place to reflect.”

It is evident that these generations of fighters who return home continue to serve their country. In Congress they exhibit many of the same traits as they did on the battlefield. They are patriotic, believe in one country under G-d, recognize the need for sacrifice, and know what it takes to complete a successful mission. Too bad there are not more people in Congress like Ryan Zinke.

The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.