BOSTON, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of a speech
by Ret. Lt. Colonel Steve Brozak, before the Democratic National Convention on
Wednesday, July 28, 2004:
Good evening. My name is Steve Brozak. I am a husband and father of two
young daughters. My wife and I are the children of immigrant parents. I am a
businessperson who co-founded a small investment-banking firm. And I am also
proud to say I am a United States Marine. I rose to the rank of Lieutenant
Colonel -- and after the attacks of September 11th, I volunteered to go back
on active duty.
And today, I am running to represent my home state of New Jersey in the
United States Congress. If you told me 18 months ago that I would end up
addressing the Democratic convention, I would have said that you were crazy.
You see, up until then, I was a Republican. But not anymore.
On my last tour of duty, my job was to help reservists who came home from
Iraq, Afghanistan, and places all over the world ... to help them get back on
their feet ... to help them with their jobs and their families. I saw their
struggle and the hardships they bore. I saw how their families coped with
deployments that kept being extended, and children who were growing up without
their moms and dads.
When I was deployed to the Middle East, I saw what our troops are facing
there. How our military is so overextended that tours of duty last far longer
than soldiers had originally signed up for. How hard it is for our soldiers to
complete their mission without the proper equipment to keep them safe. I saw
how hard it is for them to shoulder this burden alone without our allies. And
I saw how hard it is for our soldiers to know that while they wear their
uniforms with pride, the world looks at America with suspicion.
So a year and a half ago while back home, I went to my local town hall and
I switched parties. I became a Democrat.
You see, I didn't change. My belief in what makes a patriot never changed.
My belief in a national security policy that makes us truly safer didn't
change. And my belief that you only send Americans into a war with honest
purpose and plans for peace didn't change. What changed was the direction of
the Republican Party -- so I did the honorable thing. I changed parties and I
became a Democrat.
I have never considered myself to be a very partisan person. But the
Republican Party left me behind. And so I had no choice but to leave the
Republican Party behind. But I am far from alone...And I will be in the
majority come November 2nd.
It's not just Democrats; it's Republicans and Independents. It's Americans
from all walks of life who believe that to keep America safe, to defeat
al-Qaeda, we need both smart bombs and wise policy. That America must be
strong at home, strong abroad, and respected in the world.
John Kerry understands this. He learned that lesson the hard way, as a
Lieutenant commanding a swift boat in the deltas of Vietnam. As President,
John Kerry will honor the service and the sacrifice of our men and women in
uniform, by keeping our military strong and ready to respond to any threats we
John Kerry will be a Commander-in-Chief who will not hesitate for one
moment to use the military might of the United States to destroy the
terrorists who threaten our way of life. John Kerry is a leader. And this
Marine will proudly follow John Kerry into battle.
John Kerry has a plan to win this war on terror. John Kerry will
strengthen our alliances and restore America's special place in the world as a
nation to be admired rather than questioned. John Kerry will give our men and
women who serve in uniform solid support instead of hollow rhetoric. John
Kerry is someone who means what he says. And John Kerry will make sure that
our veterans are shown the full gratitude and appreciation of our nation.
My friends, Iraq is filled with professional soldiers, patriotic
reservists and guard members, who long for a mission that is planned and
purposeful ... and are long past ready to be reunited with their families. One
of these men is a friend of mine from New Jersey who looked after my family
while I was on active duty last year. This man, a veteran in his mid-forties,
is now being sent straight to the battle zone in Iraq with no promise of
returning home to his family before 2006.
As my friend is put into harm's way, I will repay my debt to him and look
after his family. But I will do something else: I will fight alongside John
Kerry to create a better, stronger America -- united at home and respected in
the world. If you want to support our troops, if you want to help their
families, if you want to build a nation that is the envy and not the enemy of
the world, I ask you to join us in this fight.
Help make John Kerry President of the United States.
My fellow Americans, this election is not about party labels or partisan
bickering. This election is about creating the America that we learned about
in school, the America that brought my immigrant parents to these shores, the
America that I fought to defend.
An America where freedom is cherished; An America where individuals are
respected; An America where anything is possible because each of us has the
right to go as far as our minds can imagine and our hearts can dream.
Let's build that America: a safer, stronger, more respected America. Let's
make John Kerry the next President of the United States. Thank you and good
SOURCE Democratic National Convention Committee