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Amy McGrath: from Military to Congress

Who said that little girls can’t grow up to be anything they want? For decades, many women were barred from many occupations, despite the fact that there were young girls who had passions and hopes to join those careers. Amy McGrath, however, was fortunate enough to become who she wanted to be.

McGrath is a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel. According to Amy McGrath for Congress, she had a love for fighter jets growing up and decided she wanted to pursue flying in the military as a future career. Unfortunately, she soon found out that her dream might have been impossible to achieve.

“Wondering why there were no women flying, Amy discovered there was a federal law in the U.S. prohibiting women from serving in combat roles,” McGrath’s website states. Abandoning her dream and searching for a new path was not an option 12-year-old McGrath.

She wrote multiple letters to the Congress and her local newspaper urging a change in the laws so that she could fulfill her dreams. When this attempt failed, she sought out the help from other positions of power. She began to reach out to members of the Armed Services Committees in the government.

“Many wrote her back, including Rep. Patricia Schroeder of Colorado, who said ‘The object of a war is to win. We should, therefore, field the best-qualified military possible. I think that it is time for military service to be based on qualifications, not gender,’” McGrath’s website reports.

This letter was a very positive response for McGrath as a young girl, though it did not enact immediate change. McGrath would not see real progress until her senior year of high school when the combat exclusion policies, which barred women from serving in combat, were finally lifted.

McGrath soon became the first woman marine to fly an F-18 in combat, according to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. She has even spent some time working in politics.

According to Amy McGrath for Congress, “in 2011, Amy was assigned to Washington D.C. as Marine Corps Congressional Fellow, serving as defense and foreign affairs policy advisor. She served in the Pentagon as the Marine Corps’ liaison to other federal government agencies. She was assigned to the faculty at US Naval Academy where she served as a senior political science instructor.”

Though she has since retired from her military roles, she has not retired from helping her country in times of need. McGrath has decided to run “for the seat in Kentucky’s sixth congressional district against Republican incumbent Andy Barr.”

Barr is a supporter of a debated healthcare bill that would cost millions of Americans their coverage. This bill hits close to home for McGrath, whose mother is a polio survivor and who worked hard for years as a doctor. McGrath could not just sit back and allow her congressperson to decide the fate of millions of Americans.

“I felt like I had two choices: I could accept things the way they were, sort of politics as usual, or I could accept the responsibility for trying to change something, trying to do something. And this is my response,” she said to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.

McGrath is running for Congress to support and defend her state and country against a threatening government. She believes, “today, a government that doesn’t work for the people threatens our way of life more than any foreign adversary. The public deserves leaders who are grounded in integrity.”

May she have a fair and equal chance to run for Congress, and may she be able to protect innocent people.

Featured Image by Johnny Silvercloud on Flickr

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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