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Letter: Nuclear engineer Sand knows what's right for North Dakota

Duane Sand has been serving this country for 26 years as a Navy veteran and is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve as the Navy emergency preparedness liaison officer for North Dakota.

Whether serving on ships in the Persian Gulf or working on emergency operations during flood season, he has this nation's and North Dakota's best interests at heart. He has itemized plans which is quite refreshing, because how often do you hear from a politician anything but talking points and vague outlines of issues?

As a combat veteran, he understands the sacrifices and the needs of returning veterans. As a state with very high ratio of veterans, we should have a veteran representing us in the Senate. He has earned the endorsement of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans for Congress.

From discussions with him, I found that he has a detailed plan to save Social Security, something almost no one has truly addressed -- like taking Social Security funds out of the general fund, so it is only spent on Social Security.

We are going to be in serious trouble in a few short years when there is no longer money in the Social Security trust fund at the same time millions of baby boomers retire.

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When it comes to energy, Sand also has a seven-point energy policy that will include using all available resources, including oil, coal, wind, solar. He even wants to look at and discuss using nuclear power. Nuclear power is an area he has a great amount of experience from serving in submarines in the Navy and as Nuclear Power Regulatory Commission safety inspector.

He is a nuclear engineer and has inspected most of the nuclear power plants in the Midwest. North Dakota has become the energy beacon of the country and our economy relies on it. We need someone who knows it in great detail.

Rick Berg seems like a nice enough guy, but we sent him to Congress a little more than a year ago and already he isn't satisfied and wants to move up.

No matter who wins the seat, they will be a freshman which means less seniority.

Berg also voted for the Budget Control Act which gave President Barack Obama a blank check to spend money we don't have. We needed real leadership on this vote but we didn't get it with Berg.

Ronald Slaathaug, U.S. Army Reserve colonel, Thompson