Well, we did our civic duty today. We voted.
Voting should have been easy, but it did take a little work. We are permanent absentee voters, but I didn't realize in time that the Post Office wouldn't likely forward our absentee ballots.
So after seeing many, many, many reminders on the AFN Network (Armed Forces Network Television programming) and receiving many, many, many reminders via email, I finally logged into FVAP.org to see what our options were. FVAP is the Federal Voters Assistance Program and assists all voters in getting registered to vote in your local county, helping military and others away from home or overseas getting their votes counted in the elections. Since our printer is still in storage, we went to the base to the Fleet and Family Center to use their computers and printers.
It was pretty easy. Since we were already registered, absentee voters, the process was that we had to submit a write-in ballot for the election. I looked up the local and state candidates and proposition numbers and wrote in our selections for each. We fed envelopes in the printer and the postage-paid, pre-addressed, official election envelopes, addressed with our proper address popped out! Also, by doing this, it changed our mailing address for future elections to be our FPO address here in Italy. Too simple!
California has some hefty issues on the ballot this year coupled with a presidential election, we had to ensure our votes counted. Being a military family and having been all over the world, there truly is no country as special as the United States of America. Regardless if you are democrat or republican, when you live in other parts of the world, you gain a perspective like none-other. We have our problems, FOR SURE, but we have a system that allows us to work through them. It may take us 10s of years to do so, but there are places where it takes 100s of years to work through issues. In other words, we joke about the creature comforts of home and how they aren't always here, but there truly is NO place like HOME!
This time of year reminds me of this image of the Iraqi woman who voted for the first time in 2005. This is the very freedom we are here for. What we fight for. What we stand for. It's why I was proud to work in the Defense industry. It's the reason I willingly married a military man. It's the reason we can live for over a year without seeing my husband or my kids endure separation from their Dad. It's the reason my family willingly leaves the USA and goes into the world. It's the reason we are here now.
Vote. Do it for all of us!