From a column in today's Washington Post by Jason Ullner, identified as a Foreign Service Officer:
I am a federal bureaucrat. A professional government employee. And guess what? I’m damn proud of it.
Like many federal workers, I have sacrificed: a high-paying job in the private sector; a year of my life (and the first six months of my daughter’s life) spent in Iraq; long hours; high stress; pay freezes. I’m not complaining; in fact, I quite enjoy my career and my life in the Foreign Service. Yet when I hear our politicians talking about “fixing” Washington, I often wonder to myself: whom would they like to “fix?” Is it the guy I see on the Metro every day, heading to work at the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that our food is safe? Is it the woman going into Commerce Department headquarters to support U.S. companies abroad? Or do they mean the thousands of people who support our troops overseas? How about my fellow Foreign Service officers, who put themselves in harm’s way in Baghdad, Kabul, Damascus and hundreds of other places around the world?
There was a time, not long ago, when government service was seen as a higher calling. That’s the reason I decided to join the State Department in 2005 — not because I wanted job security or good health benefits, but because I wanted to devote my life to making this country stronger, to making the world a better, safer place and to have a career I was proud of. Seven years later, I still get excited to come to work every morning. I still get a thrill when I enter the State Department and see the flags of every nation with which we have diplomatic relations. And I certainly get chills each and every time I see the U.S. flag on one of our embassies. I’m fairly sure I am not the only federal employee who feels this way.
Read the full column here.