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  • Patrick Griffith

Looking Back on My Personal Voting Experience as a Veteran

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

I voted in an NBA arena today—a pretty cool experience that took about 15 minutes total.

It reminded me of a couple of my most memorable voting experiences. The first was in between patrols in Baghdad from a patrol base in a burned out paper factory near the Baghdad Gates. I thought it was so cool that we got to vote from combat. It made me so proud to participate in the democracy that we were actively defending while helping to build a democracy in another country.

The second was years later in Afghanistan. I didn’t vote, but we helped plan and execute a massive security plan for the first democratic election since Taliban rule. It was the first opportunity that many Afghan women ever had to vote. They had their own polling stations—and when they were done and walked past the sand bags and crew served weapons with their index fingers covered in blue ink—many were weeping from the opportunity to make their voice heard.

Walking out of State Farm Arena in Atlanta and those memories rushing back, made me realize not to take this experiment of American democracy for granted.

Voting is our civic duty. Please go vote.

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