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I was walking into my Defense Industrial Policy class today and heard a conversation in the hallway of the ICC. I was readying myself for 2 hours of defense policy and theory, when I heard a young man say something that grounded me back in the reality of it all. The man was a little older than me, apparently a graduate student, who was remarking that it was Veteran's Day and that the day used to mean something else to him.

He had been in ROTC during college, but I gathered he had done his time. He noted that he was glad to have followed the path to grad school instead of into the army professionally, because, "Heck, I'd probably be over there in Abu Ghraib."

It quickly saddened me to hear him say this. A once proud member of Reserves, he no longer respected the armed services as he once did, he didn't long to be a part of it any longer - it has somehow lost its shine, its pride, maybe even some of its strength.

Today is a day we should remember the fallen heroes and the ones who are still fighting, as well as those like this young man who have put in theirt time. Every man and woman in the United States armed forces deserves the respect and dignity awarded to a person who fights for democracy and freedom. Every man and woman in the United States armed forces deserves more respectable leadership than one that would allow our army and our country to the army and the country of Abu Ghraib.

We deserve better. Our brothers and sisters in uniform have worked for such respect and it is up to us, as young voters, to make our voices heard and ensure the next group of leadership and Chief Executive don't take it away from them.

Please take a moment today to think about the people across the world fighting for us. The young men and women who are not able to be in college, begin their first jobs, or start their families because they are dedicating themselves to our freedom, but also are subjected these flawed policies and undermining leaders.