Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Iowa Front: Military & Veterans’ Weekly Roundup

Veterans/Political Fronts

The line between veterans and politics is blurring to the point of nonexistence as more and more veterans are actively engaging in the political process. A number of bills regarding veteran issues have been introduced in both chambers on Capital Hill. Not to mention, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not only pushing veteran issues to the national stage, but veterans are forcing the political hands of Congress members and presidential hopefuls.

“‘Our Second Call to Duty’: Iowa Democratic Party Courting Veterans”: The GOP has traditionally owned the military veteran vote. But if you were to ask anyone at last weekend's Iowa Democratic Party Veterans' Caucus meeting, odds are you would get a different answer. "As a patriotic American, I can't help but be a part of the Democratic Party," said Joe Stutler, Army veteran and Linn Count liaison for the veterans caucus. "As a veteran, it bothers me greatly to see how our veterans and current military are treated in this country, and I would feel as if I left my brothers in arms behind in a hot zone if I didn't speak up and support them." Sensing Stutler is not alone, but rather, a microcosm of discontent regarding how veteran issues have been consistently ignored by politicians, the IDP formed the Armed Forces Veterans' Caucus.

Sen. Joe Biden is gaining support from Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran activists:

“Keeping Real Time with J.B. White, Veterans for Biden’s New National Coordinator”: Iraq War veteran J.B. White doesn't waste any time when it comes to explaining why he and other Veterans for Biden support Sen. Joe Biden for president. "The thing about Veterans for Biden is not only do we support Biden, but we believe in him as well. We believe that he's the one who can get his Iraq plan implemented," said White. "There's a big difference between having a viable plan and being able to implement the plan. Biden's position in the Senate and his experience with foreign affairs make us feel he's the one who can get it done."

In her piece, “Military Wife Answers Her Own Call to Service,” Iowa Independent’s Lynda Waddington interviews Carissa Picard, president of the Military Spouses for Change. Picard, whose husband, Chief Warrant Officer Caynan Picard, is expected to redeploy to Iraq in early 2008, wanted to better serve her country by getting politically involved. After carefully analyzing and comparing all of the presidential candidates, Military Spouses for Change chose to endorse. Sen. Joe Biden.

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