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If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for

Memorial Day is special for our family. For years our two sons and their scout troop would place small flags on the graves of the fallen, working side-by-side with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Issaquah.
Mike & Camille’s sons, Grant & Nathan with their Boy Scout Troop

Memorial Day reminds us to honor the sacrifice of these heroes with increased devotion to service. “If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for,” an unknown author wrote.

Camille’s Dad

My wife Camille grew up in an Army family, and her father, a career officer, served in the Vietnam War. My father served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, returning to where he was a homeless refugee at the end of World War II.

Mike’s Dad with other refugees

As a young boy, he survived the wretched tyranny of both the Soviet Communists and Nazi Germany and was saved by American troops who won the war. With the help of a Lutheran minister, my father had the chance at a new life in America.

My Dad worked hard, every day, to be the “kind of American worth fighting for.” From his efforts, I was a first-generation college student, and now my two sons are off to graduate school this fall.

Grant graduating from Washington University in St. Louis

Our family has walked the rows of white crosses and Stars of David at Normandy, France and in Arlington National cemetery. It is a moving experience. So many young men and women gave their lives so we have a chance to live the American Dream.

Today we face a new kind of threat, an invasion that is taking a heavy toll on our lives and livelihoods: COVID-19. The battlefield is now in our hometowns. The heroes are healthcare and service workers at high risk of contracting the virus.

On this Memorial Day, in the middle of battling a pandemic, it is more important than ever that each of us show increased devotion to service and continue the unfinished work of those who gave their lives for us. We can help feed the hungry with donations to the local foodbank; place walk-up orders with local restaurants and small business; or, protect our vulnerable populations by keeping our distance in public and wearing a mask.

I have rededicated myself to service this year by seeking to be your next Attorney General, and to using my decades of experience as a lawyer and community leader to protect the Evergreen State.

Thank you for your service and for your support.

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