The fight to protect pensions has been hard the past few years. It's especially hard when friends who have fought beside me pass away before the battle is won.

My fellow Central States retirees and I have spent most of our lives driving trucks or on docks, loading and unloading, and then doing it all over again. That was hard on us physically, but this threat to our pensions may be even more damaging.

For five years we have fought to restore our pension security. Our signature bill, the Butch Lewis Act, has finally made it to the U.S. Senate. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is very familiar with this bill as he co-sponsored the bill while in the U.S. House of Representatives. We need his support again, as we need Sen. John Hoeven to join the fight. Our Minnesota senators have already signed onto this very important piece of legislation.

Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, need to put this bill up for a vote. Our North Dakota senators can help make that happen. The time for talk is done.

One final thought: The shirts we wear when we travel to Washington to visit our delegation carry a very powerful message: "Broken promises mean broken lives." We have broken lives at this point. We ask our senators to keep our government's promise to us and protect our pensions.

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Lives, literally, are on the line.