Memorial Day With Justin Coussoule
Justin and Amanda met while serving our country, fell in love and got married
Actually today Justin is observing Memorial Day by participating in the Fairfield, OH Memorial Day Parade and then meeting with VFW Post 1069. He's the Blue America-endorsed candidate to take on Republican minority leader/golfer John Boehner in western Ohio's 8th CD. A few days ago Justin was over at Daily Kos explaining why, as a recent U.S. Army officer and leader of soldiers, he is strongly supporting the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. His real-world experience informed his decision the same way his military service helped him come to conclusions about the status of women's rights in our society.
In Uniform or Out, Women Deserve Equal and Fair Pay
When you think of the armed services, you wouldn’t be alone if you immediately conjured up images of young men in uniform, close shaven with hair so short it’s barely there. The reality, though, is much more reflective of our society as a whole, where men and women work side by side to accomplish the unit’s mission.
As a cadet at West Point and then an Army officer, I worked alongside highly trained, highly effective, and highly competent soldiers, many of whom were women. In fact, my wife and my sister-in-law are both veterans, and they along with the female soldiers I led served as honorably and ably as the men in their units. The same is true for women in the workplace today, where women contribute in all industries at all levels. Unlike in the Army, though, women today only earn about 75% of what a man in the same job is paid. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a step forward, but there are still those who would oppose equality in pay, like my opponent, John Boehner. In the 21st century, what possible reason could one give for not supporting equal pay for equal work?
As a society, we will always be better for affording equal chances to those who want to succeed. We cannot discriminate against or oppress those who would make our nation better simply because of gender. I learned in the Army that from Private to General Officer, pay is based on rank, not gender. The same should be true in the civilian workforce, where pay is based on performance, and gender has no impact. Women today serve from the assembly line to the board room, and the gains made in the last fifty years must be protected with continued fair and equal access to the same opportunities men have.