Since Oct 14, 2004

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I am a young Marine Engineer just out of college and I work in government contracting designing ships' equipment for the Navy. A licensed merchant vessel officer and officer in the Naval Reserve, I feel that the defense technology industry is truly one of our nation's great strengths. That strength lies not in funding or in government programs, but is a result of the ingenuity of the American individual. This is true for all of America's industries be it medical, transportation, information or otherwise. The role of government is to support and protect individuals so that they may be able to continuously improve upon old methods and technologies, not to tax and discourage those who do. People must be allowed to succeed or fail on their own and be allowed their just rewards upon success. By continuously improving, our country remains great.
At the same time, we must never allow ourselves to sacrifice our morals for the sake of success. While there may be many advancements that may be made through unethical research (cloning, stem cells...), these discoveries may still be made using ethical means. Even if it means a slower rate of discovery, I believe that the compromise is easily justifiable. We must treat America's enemies seriously, but then treat them with compassion once defeated. By spreading hope rather than fear, we will gain the respect and gratitude of the world. It is unfortunate that force is required at times, but we must never shy away from our duty for to do so endangers not only ourselves, but the rest of the world.
Lastly, I would like to say that freedom is a both a right and a responsibility. Never allow yourself to be controlled by anything other than yourself (government, money, addiction...) and you will never have reason to feel oppressed or that your are a victim. This is the promise to all Americans. However, with that right comes the responsibility of ensuring that others are treated equally and that our freedoms remain in place. This applies to people in other nations as well as our own. Most importantly, we must ensure that our freedoms are not encroached upon. While protection comes with the forfeiture of some freedom, we must not allow government to grow so large as to limit our control over our own lives. This is our duty as free men and women.
Thank you and God bless America.