It is Thanksgiving week and before everyone heads out of the office to take a well-deserved holiday, I want to give thanks for our Federal workforce. Fed-bashing may be a popular sport in some places, but not in my home. I believe that majority of Federal employees do a great job, care about their work, do more than is necessary, support their co-workers in times or need, and provide tremendous benefit to the American people.
Let’s look at just a few things Federal employees do.
They support our troops. The Department of Defense relies heavily upon 700K Federal employees to provide supplies, rebuild ships, aircraft and other equipment, provide IT, financial management and personnel support, conduct intelligence work, and countless other tasks that enable our men and women in uniform to carry out their missions.
They collect revenue. Some folks might wonder why I would be thankful for tax collectors, but I like roads, our military, the social security program, and many other aspects of what our government does. None of that happens without the taxes collected by the IRS.
They protect our food supply, environment and medicines. Federal workers inspect our food, promote agriculture, provide assistance to small and large farms, regulate pollutants, review new drugs to ensure their efficacy and safety, and manage over 200 million acres of National Forests and Wilderness Areas.
They preserve and operate our National Parks. The US has a spectacular array of National Parks, ranging from Yosemite to Yellowstone and as unique as Wolf Trap, the only National Park for the Performing Arts.
They ensure we can travel safely by air, rail and highways. They forecast the weather and help us understand when dangerous storms can put us at risk, manage fisheries, explore outer space, and conduct groundbreaking medical and scientific research.
They respond to natural and man-made disasters, protect our borders, promote legitimate commerce and protect American businesses and consumer from counterfeit goods and currency.
They run the Social Security program, Medicare, and Veterans programs, along with many more that are too numerous to list in one blog post.
I don’t think we take time to say thank you often enough. We learned following the bitter years of the Viet Nam war that we can honor the warrior even when we do not want the war. The same applies to the Federal workforce. Whether we think our Federal government is too big, too small or just right, we can respect Federal workers for what they do for us every day and say Thank You.
So this Thanksgiving week – Thank you Federal employees. Thank you for you loyalty, your dedication, your hard work, and the difference you make in America. I appreciate it – and you – very much.