It was 1992 when I cast my first vote for a 3rd party presidential candidate. Not because I expected or even wanted Ross Perot to win but because I felt it was the most powerful way for me to express my disgust with the two party system that so polarizes this nation today. Last Friday, the Congress presented me with yet another affirmation of my views on this subject when, after Jack Murtha’s moving speech to redeploy the troops, the GOP demanded a vote on a ‘get them out of Iraq now’ resolution sparking a late night Fight Club session between reds and blues.

In Murtha’s press conference and again on Meet the Press he repeated what so many, including Cindy Sheehan have been saying for months this is not a partisan issue. This is war and it transcends politics, blood lines and party lines. Murtha’s resolution, not Duncan Hunter’s R- CA hijacked version of it, is about advocating for our troops, fighting for them as they hope and believe they are fighting for us.

Asked on Meet the Press if voting for the war was a mistake, Murtha unabashedly answered, ‘Obviously, it was a mistake’. His resolution is meant to force the necessary debates and dialogs required to fix it.

Murtha’s speech makes a very salient point – “Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home.”

Our kids in uniform are not state builders, not nation builders and they should not be policemen. They have not been trained for many of the duties that now confront them. They have been setup to fail, not by design but by mismanagement. They need our advocacy because they cannot advocate for themselves.

Thank you, Jack Murtha for not pretending that everything in Iraq is okay. Thank you for recognizing that our troops are not perceived as liberators but have become targets. Thank you for fighting for our men and women in Iraq as they are fighting for us.

All of us need to stand up and fight for our children in uniform regardless of our voter registration. As Murtha noted, the crosses at Arlington don’t state republican or democrat. How better to honor the sacrifices of the 2000+ who have died on the ground and the 10,000+ who have succumbed to their wounds than by doing everything we can to save their buddies?