By JOE HECK, October 5, 2020
Throughout the course of history, Americans have, time and again, come together in moments of crisis to confront our challenges and move the country forward. As I envision a path out of the current crises facing our nation, I believe this moment is no different.
For the past three years, I served as the chairman of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, a position I was appointed to by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and which allowed me to continue my own service to our country, building upon my current service in the Army Reserve and my experience as a former three-term Republican congressman. Throughout the congressionally-mandated Commission’s tenure that explored America’s appetite for service and the potential need for a military draft, we traveled across the country hearing from Americans about their desire to serve, the barriers to service, and their ideas for inspiring more people to serve.
During those listening tours, we met Americans from both sides of the political aisle who were willing to roll up their sleeves, put their differences aside, and get to work for the good of the country. Conversation after conversation, one theme continued to ring true — service, in all its forms, is critical to the well-being and security of our nation. Whether folks served overseas with our military, mentored students in classrooms here at home, or spent decades in public service at the state, local or tribal level, they all felt some ownership for the success of our nation. They had skin in the game and wanted the best for the country as a whole.
It was one of the most humbling and moving experiences of my career and I am committed to making sure their voices and ideas are put into action. That is why I have signed on as a co-chair of the Serve America Together campaign, a first-of-its-kind coalition of military and civilian service organizations working to make national service — including military, civilian, and public service — part of growing up in America.