Casey Wardynski: A Veterans Day Remembrance, a Warning, and Cause for Hope


Op-ed by Hon. Casey Wardynski (Ret. Colonel), candidate for the US House of Representatives in Alabama’s 5th District. He served in the Trump Administration as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Eighty-three years ago, Congress selected November 11 as a National Day of Remembrance to recognize the achievement of American uniformed service members following their defeat of Germany and the Central Powers. Over 4.7 million American uniformed personnel served during that First World War. Through their actions, they brought America victory. They and their countrymen also hoped their victory brought enduring peace after that War to End All Wars.   

Unfortunately, the end of conflict and threats to freedom were not at hand. In the years that followed the first Armistice Day in 1919, Americans were again called to uniformed service. They fought in a Second World War, a Cold War with several hot campaigns, and a Global War on Terror. Now Americans in uniform are gathering strength in the Pacific to counter an emerging great power threat from the Chinese Communist Party and its Peoples’ Liberation Army.   

 Enemies beyond our shores emerged to threaten American freedom in the years and decades that followed the first Armistice Day. As a result, Congress updated America’s day of remembrance to recognize all who had served in uniform in peace and war. In 1954, Congress amended the original Act in 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a, striking the word “Armistice” and replacing it with “Veterans.”   

While its name changed, Veterans Day has signaled Americans to pause and remember that providence and a small fraction of Americans have secured the bounties of freedom for their countrymen. Today, a nation of 332 million living Americans owes much to millions of veterans who have attained their final reward and 19 million living veterans of one or more wars.  Many of these veterans bear physical, emotional, and psychological scars from wars won, battles lost, and campaigns yet to be decided.  

To honor veterans’ service and sacrifices, dignitaries will mark Veterans Day with speeches. Some communities will hold parades and celebrations. Retail concerns and online vendors will sell products ranging from mattresses to TVs at clearance prices.  In this spirit of thrift, one can also gain insight into the value veterans present in Congress’ halls of power.   

While key Congressional assignments to committees such as Appropriations, Rules, and Ways and Means command “party taxes” in the hundreds of thousands and even a million or more dollars, assignment to the Veterans Affairs Committee comes at little to no cost to Congress members’ campaign coffers. Since a key seat on a taxing or appropriating committee can garner a fundraising bounty from special interests, it extracts a high price for well-seated members of Congress. In contrast, a seat on the Veterans Affairs Committee holds no such value. Instead, the RNC and DNC place members of their caucus on the Veterans Affairs Committee at a clearance price.     

As Americans reflect this Thursday on our veterans’ sacrifices in the service of freedom against foreign threats, we should eschew the Congressional model of value. Instead, we can honor our veterans’ sacrifices by acting to preserve their and our freedoms here at home.  

Today, petty tyrants in elected office and leftists embedded in the administrative state work through mandates and legislation that opens the door to regulatory fiat. They work to ingrain Un-American notions into our uniformed services, destroying esprit and cohesion.  

They use language tricks to substitute equity of outcomes for equality of opportunity in making selections, making promotions, and dispensing justice.  

They invent new protected classes of service members to further the tribalism inspired by their Critical Race Theory. Deepen the tribal divides they seek; they require indoctrination that runs counter to deeply held personal beliefs. 

They create extremist threats from cloth and link them to specific groups by race, religion, and gender. In so doing, they rob our current and future veterans of merit-based systems and undermine military cohesion that history has shown to be indispensable to victory. 

Working through the language of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA 2022), they create vague new crimes of Violent Extremism from combinations of minor offenses.  To counter this constructed offense and imagined threats from “uniformed white supremacists,” they entrench a new Office of Countering Extremism at the highest levels of the Pentagon.  They require new databases, reporting structures, investigative apparatus, and climate surveys to feed data to this office.  

They require career-long training and certification of leaders to build adherence to their notions and designs.

This Veterans Day those who love freedom and respect the sacrifices our uniformed service members make should explore NDAA 2022. A word search on terms such as gender identity, equity, extremism, ex parte orders, training, and database will reveal the attack on freedom our service personnel will soon suffer should the Senate pass NDAA 2022.  

NDAA 2022, the Infrastructure Bills, Biden Administration mandates regarding vaccination, rental property rights, and Biden Administration pronouncements regarding protections afforded to Americans by the Bill of Rights provide Americans a roadmap. 

This roadmap reveals Biden’s and the lefts’ plan to impose a divisive and destructive culture on our veterans who now serve and the balance of Americans in the months to come. Here at home, they plan to rob veterans and the 320 million Americans they serve of the freedoms that our foreign enemies had until now posed the most significant threat.

While serving in uniform, I dedicated years of effort to ensure the success of the volunteer force in peace and war.  I created the “America’s Army Game” to provide millions of young Americans a virtual “test drive” of Soldiering. I led significant reforms to Army marketing, recruiting and talent management as Assistant Secretary of the Army in the Trump Administration.  

As a parent, I encouraged my children to consider military service. Today, however, the schemes of Biden and his organ-grinders on the left lead me to caution those who contemplate military service. They cause to warn parents of patriotic young Americans that Biden and his clique refer to you as dregs and chumps. They do not respect you. They do not respect your values, beliefs, or rights as conveyed by the creator and guaranteed in the Constitution. They will not honor the sacrifices our future veterans will be called on to make to attain victory. Indeed, given recent history, Biden and his clique have shown they will scheme with our adversaries and work to deny our forces victory.  Their schemes and policies are even now creating division in our military ranks. Our avatar President and his masters will invite defeat to diminish the reputation of our military at home and abroad. Biden and the left seek to add our military to the list of institutions they have undermined, weakened, and turned against America.

This Veterans Day, however, one can find cause for optimism. Many of those who served in uniform and who love America are ready to serve again. A conservative Marine veteran, Winsome Sears, just defeated a leftist to become Virginia’s first woman and black woman Lieutenant Governor in Virginia. In Washington, conservative Army veteran Joe Kent has mounted a vigorous campaign to replace RINO Jaime Herrera Beutler and enter Congress in 2023. Elsewhere, five conservative Navy veterans are fighting to represent their districts in Congress in January 2023. Together these and other conservatives bring the moral courage and grit necessary to stop Biden and his fellow travelers. They will reduce the cost, scope, and overreach of Federal agencies that threaten our liberty and prosperity and put America First.

Hon. Casey Wardynski was President Trump’s appointed Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. He is a 30 year Army veteran, having retired at the rank of Colonel. He is running for Congress in Alabama’s 5th district. To learn more about Casey visit

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