Frank, first of all thanks for your service even though it was not in my state. We still all belong to one country and all 300 million of us are united in one way or another...
That being said, I often heard the phrase that the term "politics is just another word for hiney-kissing," and that is indeed the truth. I have always gone through life being one to say it how it is, which can get you into trouble sometimes, and out of favor with people, but I still found it to be better then being "fake" or a "hiney-kisser." I think you are the same way, and its tough when you see people forced to move on because of their resolve to do what they feel is best.
For what it is worth, I'm sorry. I wish you the best in your new quest for being civil minded for the less fortunate.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"