Over the past generation or so, the number of candidates for public office with any significant military experience has dwindled. Military experience is not necessary, of course, even for a commander in chief - witness President Franklin D. Roosevelt's superb leadership during World War II.
A candidate's military service can tell us a lot, however, about how the candidate might serve in office. One such candidate this year is state Rep. Chris Coutu of Norwich, now a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in the Second Distrcit.
He is a husband, father of a one year old, state representative, and Army Reserve officer. He is running for Congress from our district based on a winning electoral track record and outstanding performance in our legislature.
He was recently called to 12 weeks of deployment in South Carolina - right in the middle of his campaign and just ahead of a legislative session. He had the opportunity to resign his commission to attend to his family, career and political campaign. His devotion to our country and the duty that he volunteered for prevailed without question and he is currently away through April.
Mr. Coutu reminds me of nothing so much as one of those valiant farmers that left their families and fields to stand by the bridge in Concord that April morning so long ago. His service tells me a lot.