Dear Mr. Cruz
I realize the campaign trail is a long and arduous journey and you are fatigued yet determined to see your campaign through to the White House. Campaigns are notorious for promises made and not carried through to fruition. I realize many things of which you speak are well intentioned and some others may be an attempt for appeasement and the gathering of support. However, one of your recent promises really struck a chord with me and I am writing to you in the hopes of determining your commitment to this issue.
According to the Huffington Post on 2/18/16 while presenting to military voters in South Carolina, you implied that you would “wipe out cases of ‘political correctness’ in order to spend resources on building a stronger military. Cases of ‘political correctness’ include equipping the military with dietary options for those who suffer from gastrointestinal disorders like celiac disease.”
Image via TedCruz.org
This is where I am concerned. Do you truly believe people suffering from the autoimmune condition of celiac disease are doing so to be “politically correct”? Do you believe these people don’t consume gluten to be trendy? Do you recognize celiac disease as a true illness which requires patients to limit or completely restrict their consumption of gluten? If you recognize this disease and its presence then do you believe not one member of the military suffers from this illness? 1 in 100 people in our country lives with celiac disease and a good statistics teacher would tell you that inevitable some of those people serve in our military.
Do you know what happens if a person with celiac disease consumes gluten? Let me paint a picture of reality for you. A person with celiac who consumes gluten can suffer from severe vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and in many cases hospitalization. Severe abdominal pain and cramping are inevitable as well. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation more serious complications can occur as well such as type 1 diabetes, infertility, miscarriage, intestinal cancers, and neurological conditions.
As a person who lives with such a disease I can say that while I am experiencing a flare up of my condition it is nearly impossible for me to be a functioning member of society. Do you think our military members can fulfill their duties while dealing with such symptoms? Do you think that by not providing a gluten-free meal option you are setting these men and women up for success? If they are forced to consume gluten as no other options would be available it would be near impossible for these people to carry out their duties they swore to uphold.
Your statement demonstrates an ignorance that people with such diseases face on a regular basis. My hope is that you will educate yourself and realize that there is far more at stake here than political correctness. Peoples’ lives and well being are what will truly suffer if you follow through on this campaign promise.For more information and your own education please visit the Celiac Disease Foundation at celiac.org
image via Facebook.com