Three years ago, I traded in my dress blues for blue jeans, took off my military-issued political blinders and tuned in to the dangerous path our elected officials in Washington were taking.
I saw none of the positive, soaring, unifying ideals of Kennedy & Reagan; I only saw out-of-touch, career politicians who spoke loudly in opposition, but were silent in their vision.
I felt compelled to do something about it, so I jumped in my truck 18 months ago and started a campaign for the United States Senate. I truly had no idea what I was getting into.
I was -- and am -- just an ordinary citizen concerned about the direction of our country.
I'm humbled that against all the odds, over 200,000 of you entrusted me with your votes. I learned that your support has to be earned and what you told me is that I earned your votes because I signed a contract with you, I pledged to be accountable to you, and together we recognized that Washington DC politicians work for us; we don't work for them.
I have been a proud member of the Republican Party since I cast my first vote for Ronald Reagan in 1981. While I recognize that politicians in both parties have failed us, the Republican Party alone embraces a platform true to Constitutional principles.
In the weeks and months ahead, we must unify and strengthen our Party and hold our Republican officials accountable.
In closing, I want to thank you.
Thank you for time; thank you for volunteering to Get-Out-the-Vote; thank you for hosting events in your homes and at your places of business; and thank you for donating to our campaign.
Most of all, thank you for sharing your love of Louisiana with me and my family over the last 18 months. We also love Louisiana and I love you.
I trust that the future is bright for Louisiana knowing that supporters like you will always be there to hold our elected officials accountable.
Col. Rob Maness, (USAF, ret.)
While Sec. Hagel's dedication to the troops is unquestionable, he leaves a weaker DOD, that has lost many of its Sr. intelligence officers.