This election season has been particularly grueling. With so much on the line, Republicans had to earn each and every vote and Democrats, sensing the loss of the Senate, did similarly but, ultimately, came up short.
It’s natural to take a breather after all is done and the votes are counted. Many politicians and politician-elects take a moment to be with the family they have likely neglected for months. Some might go on vacation or even just relax at home for some much-needed R&R.
However, for one newly elected Senator, Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, it has back to the business of serving America in the most literal of ways.
For Lt. Col. Ernst, reporting for duty is how she spent the day following the election.
Ernst is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa National Guard and commands the largest battalion in the Iowa Army National Guard, the 185th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion at Camp Dodge.
Ernst is the first woman elected to the Senate from Iowa, the first woman elected statewide in Iowa and the first female veteran elected to the Senate.
Lt. Col. Ernst is a 21-year veteran, having served in the Army Reserve and the Iowa National guard, and spent 14 months in Kuwait in 2003-2004 as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
While women like Sandra Fluke posture and pretend that it is a “war on women” when Republicans insist that individuals, not taxpayers, purchase their own birth control, Ernst is one of many women serving this nation who understand what real war is, what real challenges are and what it means to truly take responsibility for oneself and others and lead by example.