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Ted Cruz Declares War on Gluten-free Soldiers
Celiac.com 02/19/2016 - Did senator Ted Cruz just declare war on gluten-free soldiers? It kind of looks like that.
In an attempt to show he can be tough on American servicemen and women with celiac disease, the Republican presidential hopeful declared that, in the event the American people find him serving as their president and commander-in-chief, there will be no gluten-free MREs for soldiers anywhere under his command.
Campaigning in South Carolina, and courting pro-military voters, the Texas senator seemed to believe he was striking a blow against what he describes as a culture of "political correctness" in the Pentagon.
Speaking in broad strokes, Cruz said that "…the last thing any commander should need to worry about is the grades he is getting from some plush-bottomed Pentagon bureaucrat for political correctness or social experiments -- or providing gluten-free MREs;" the shorthand term for Meal, Ready-to-Eat.
According to Ted Cruz, it's a bad thing to be in favor of soldiers with celiac disease having a gluten-free meal when they're in the field—while they might be putting their lives on the line in service to our country.
Should American servicemen and women with celiac disease or gluten intolerance have their medical treatment made into a political issue? Apparently Cruz thinks so.
However, since celiac disease is a bona fide medical condition, and a gluten-free diet is the only currently recognized treatment, regardless of whether you are Democrat or Republican, Ted Cruz, or anyone else who aspires to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, should simply not be treating them like second-class citizens.
All soldiers with medical conditions deserve proper treatment, that includes service men and women with celiac disease and medical conditions that require treatment with a gluten-free diet.
Let the senator from Texas know what you think: Ted Cruz on Twitter @tedcruz
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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams