As I watched “60 Minutes” on Sept. 24, interviews with Oprah Winfrey and U.S. Sen. John McCain triggered so many emotions.

I am so grateful to Sen. McCain for the man he is and deeply sorry for the sacrifices he endured during the Vietnam War. I cannot imagine what he went through as a POW for over five years; I respect his tenacity to never give up. I am grateful for what he strives for every day for the common good of the American people — health care for all. I believe that, with his current serious health condition, he is thinking twice about health care and what it means for Americans.

I thank Sens. McCain and Susan Collins for voting against a bad bill. My husband and I are retiring in December and we are extremely uncertain of our health care and whether can we afford it. But that is not going to stop us. We have worked since young teenagers and now are looking forward to the next chapter of life.

Watching Oprah’s segment of interviewing many different people in one room, I came to the conclusion that, for the most part, we all feel the same way. I feel abandoned, let down, hurt and ashamed of most members of Congress.

As a former member of the Maine House of Representatives, I know first hand the challenges that come with that responsibility. I also know what it means to work together across the aisle. It can be emotionally draining and stressful, but you need to open your heart and minds and let your inner soul surface. If that cannot happen, then you don’t belong there because that is telling me that you are not there for the common good of the American people.

Members of Congress have to put the stupid, petty politics aside. Stop the bickering with each other. The Republicans did it for the past eight years, and now the Democrats are doing it right back. It is like, because you did it, now I can. All Washington can do is bicker and see how much they can stab each other in the back. That is so wrong.

Being a member of Congress is not about “me against you.” They need to get over it. It is time for members of Congress to put their big panties on, grow up and work together, not for any individual or to shut a party down. They have been voted in to do good on behalf of the American people, to represent the people and to help the people; to make this nation better, healthier and stronger. Every American is depending on them — our lives can depend on their actions, whether we live or die. No matter what party a Congressperson belongs to, it should be people first and party last.

Last November, I wrote President-elect Donald Trump a letter addressing issues regarding my brother who served in the Vietnam War. When he came home, he was never the same. He fought the Veterans Administration for benefits for almost 30 years and received nothing. And then he died. I told my brother that I would never stop fighting for him and on May 10, 2011, I passed legislation in Maine designating March 30 of each year to be Vietnam War Remembrance Day. I addressed my concerns to Trump, as well. I told him that there was no date of recognition for the Vietnam veterans, that it was a disgrace and that a law needed to be passed to recognize Vietnam veterans. There are war recognition dates for all other wars but nothing for the Vietnam War.

President Trump has since signed legislation on March 28, 2017. S 305; Section 6(d) of Title 4. United States Code, is amended by inserting “National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29th.”

I thank President Trump and offer congratulations to each and every Vietnam veteran. Finally, their day of recognition, after 44 years. The news should be plastered throughout the U.S. on the front page of every newspaper. Their fight and war is finally over. No more feeling rejected or not good enough. I have heard veterans say “It’s too late.” Well, it is never too late to say “We’re sorry, thank you, and welcome home.”

It deeply saddens and scares me to see the direction this country has taken; scared for a civil war, about North Korea and its missiles and recent horrific natural disasters. Congress is the backbone of this country. Members of Congress are our leaders. They should remove the word “politician” from their vocabulary and tell themselves daily that they are servants of the community.

The entire nation is watching every move they make or action they take. They are the role models of today and for future generations. Is what is happening in Washington what I want my grandchildren to see and hear? Definitely not.

I respectfully request that members of Congress work together for the common good of each and every American.

May God bless America and our flag.

Sheryl Briggs is a former state representative. She lives in Mexico.

Sheryl Briggs

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