Member Spotlight: Major General (Ret.) Bill Libby
Major General (Ret.) Bill Libby shares his meaningful advocacy work in Maine
Upon retirement as Maine’s Adjutant Generals and Commissioner of the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management, I was pleased that Mission: Readiness “found” me and gave me an opportunity to continue to advocate for the children and youth of our nation and the state that I love and call home.
For many legislative sessions over the past 12 years, I have been testifying before committee hearings, speaking to the Maine Legislature’s Children Caucus, standing up at press events, and penning guest editorials and letters to the editor to remind state and federal policymakers that some of the most strategic investments they can make are ones that have proven high returns over the long-term and prevent future remedial action.
An example of my involvement can be seen here in an interview about the challenges of child care in rural Maine that received remarkable attention by the local media and many policymakers. The talented staff we worked with successfully combined our Mission: Readiness message with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member and Maine Commissioner of Corrections, Randy Liberty, and ReadyNation member and Executive Director of Educate Maine, Jason Judd. We were also joined by a child care provider, a child care administrator, a superintendent of schools, and a parent of young twin boys.
I believe one of the most effective long-term investments we can make for a strong military is in the health and education of our young people. We need to help America’s youth succeed academically, stay physically fit, and abide by the law. The path to success does not begin at age 17. The earliest months and years of life are a crucial time when we build the foundation of children’s character, how they relate to others, and how they learn. Research shows that high-quality early childhood education raises graduation rates, reduces future social support costs, lowers future crime, and vastly increases prospects for lifetime success as a productive citizen.
My gratitude to each of you for supporting Mission: Readiness as we collectively seek greater state and federal investments in the next generation. Our country demands such urgent and intelligent action to help preserve our nation’s security and improve economic opportunities.