WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of Defense Leon M. Panetta released the following message Oct. 5.
"On November 6th, Americans will have the opportunity to exercise the most important responsibility we have in a democracy - the right to vote. Voters will choose from candidates at every level - from the Commander-in-Chief, to legislative representatives, to county commissioners, city council members and others.
I don't have to tell you that your vote can determine the future. It really counts. And that's why it's so important to participate in this process - no matter where you are in the world, no matter who you plan to vote for. Please exercise the very privilege that you're willing to fight and die for in order to protect.
But there isn't much time. If you're overseas or away from home, request your absentee ballot immediately, and mail it back in time so that your vote will count. And if you need help, visit your Installation Voter Assistance Office, or see your unit's voting assistance officer, or visit the website www.fvap.gov
Every day, your efforts make this country safer and its people more secure. You have more than earned the right to vote. So please participate in the democratic process that sustains the blessings of liberty that we work so hard to protect.
This Election Day I encourage you and your family to play an important part in our great democracy. Your vote will help determine the future of our nation, and the future of a government of, by, and for all people.