Veteran Pole!!!


New member
Nov 28, 2001
Even with all of the "stuff" writen below, I will still go with Bush over Kerry...

So 1 vote for Bush 0 for Kerry so far... ;)

Kerry counting on veterans to help him win

By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY

Navy service in Vietnam defined John Kerry's life, and now it's defining his presidential campaign against a wartime commander in chief. More than any other candidate since John F. Kennedy, another Democratic senator from Massachusetts, Kerry is running as a veteran and counting on veterans to help him win the White House.

What Kerry is doing is unusual and hardly guaranteed to succeed. The nation's 26.4 million veterans do not vote as a bloc and have generally ignored military status in making their choices. Democrat Bill Clinton avoided service in Vietnam, yet he defeated World War II heroes George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole in 1992 and 1996.

But this election comes against the backdrop of the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Iraq. It is expected to be so close in some states that Kerry and President Bush are competing for every sliver of voters. Each claims an advantage among veterans.

Veterans are slightly more likely than non-veterans to be Republican, conservative and approving of Bush's job performance, according to a USA TODAY analysis of three polls in the past year. "The president has traditionally done well with veterans and we expect that to continue," Bush spokesman Terry Holt says.

Kerry strategists say their candidate's combat experience and bond with other Vietnam veterans could attract veterans who voted for Bush last time or didn't vote at all. They see these veterans as a persuadable voter group, much like the soccer moms and NASCAR dads coveted by both parties in recent presidential campaigns.

"We are going to be reaching out to all veterans, including both parties and independents," says John Hurley, a Boston attorney who is national director of Veterans for Kerry. The campaign plans to set up Veterans for Kerry groups "in virtually every state."

In 2000, 16 states were won by 5 percentage points or less. Some were decided by a few thousand votes; New Mexico and Florida hinged on a few hundred. Veterans and active-duty personnel in some states, such as Florida and Arizona, could influence the outcome.

In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll in February, fewer than 4 in 10 likely voters said military or combat experience would make them more likely to vote for a presidential candidate; 6 in 10 said it would make no difference. But in a Fox News Poll in January, asked who would do a better job handling a foreign crisis such as Iraq, 41% of registered voters chose a candidate who had been a soldier in combat; 33% chose one who had been a president during war.

'Band of brothers'

Kerry served 10 months in Vietnam, four of them commanding a small gunboat in the Mekong Delta. Injured three times, he came home in 1969 with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Then he helped found Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Kerry's emphasis on his military record helps him in several ways, advisers say. His frequent references to Vietnam and "carrying an M-16," often when he is surrounded by veterans he calls his "band of brothers," may help defuse Republican charges that he is weak on defense. His warm reunions and appearances with fellow soldiers show the human side of a man who can seem awkward and stern. They also may remind people that although his life has been privileged, he has seen tragedy.

People from Kerry's past, the USS Gridley, the Mekong Delta, the 1971 demonstration against the war, now turn up at campaign events across the country. "I'm very touched by it," Kerry said in an interview

Kerry backers say veterans bond emotionally with him in ways that transcend partisan loyalty. "They see one of their own in John Kerry," says Max Cleland, a former Georgia senator and a Vietnam veteran who lost his legs and right arm in a grenade accident.

During the primaries, Kerry's ads featured footage of him in Vietnam. Veterans for Kerry sent busloads of veterans into each primary and caucus state to call veterans on Kerry's behalf. The Kerry campaign used lists supplied by veterans groups and also scoured applications for a special property tax break available to veterans in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Now, Kerry already has run military-themed ads in key states across the country. More than 10,000 veterans have signed up on a special Web site to receive e-mail updates. Veterans close to him are traveling with him, raising money for him and promoting him in speeches and interviews.

As Kerry tries to introduce himself to the country as a battle-hardened warrior, Bush and his allies paint the four-term senator as weak, wavering and indecisive. In ads, interviews and e-mails, they criticize him for votes they call harmful to defense, intelligence and military personnel.

Matthew Dowd, Bush's chief campaign strategist, says his research on Kerry shows "more people know he's a veteran than know he's from Massachusetts" and questions if Kerry can milk any more support from his biography.

Dowd also says "the vast majority" of veterans will vote based on terrorism and the economy. Still, like Kerry, Bush is setting up Veterans for Bush groups in each state. "Everything matters" in such a tight race, Dowd says.

Veterans groups such as the American Legion are creating a possible opening for Kerry as they protest a series of Bush administration proposals aimed at curbing costs associated with veterans and military families. Among them: closing veterans hospitals in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states; increasing out-of-pocket health care costs; cutting hazardous duty pay; and phasing out base schools and commissaries. So far none has happened, at least in part because of lobbying by the groups.

The Bush team says it has boosted military pay, speeded up health-claims processing and increased spending on health care 40%. But veterans groups say the health care increase doesn't approach the actual costs of providing needed care. They and Kerry support "mandatory" funding of whatever it takes to pay for care.

The Vietnam divide

Nearly one-third of veterans alive today are from the Vietnam era, by far the largest veterans' population in the 2000 Census.

The Bush team, however, believes Kerry's warrior image is undercut by his anti-war activities.

Some veterans resent Kerry for his anti-war activities, including congressional testimony in which he described atrocities fellow soldiers said they had committed in Vietnam. Ted Sampley, a North Carolina conservative who tried to discredit former prisoner of war John McCain as anti-veteran in 2000, runs a Web site called Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry.

Yet there are also veterans who applaud what Kerry did. Vietnam veteran Mike Mahler, owner of a concrete supply business in Bettendorf, Iowa, says he was a lifelong Republican until he decided last November to back Kerry.

Mahler, a Bush voter in 2000, says he respects Kerry's decision to enlist despite misgivings about the war and his later anti-war activities. Opposing the war at that time "took a great amount of guts," he says. "If anything he did shortened that war and saved lives, that's commendable."

Kerry says he is not surprised to find Vietnam echoing through the 2004 presidential race. "It was a great tormented period in American history," he says, "and you can't just wipe it away."
Bush here as well. So far that PX hero doesn't have a chance at getting my vote.

Former SSgt, USAF
Former TSgt, USAFR
Former TSgt, NMANG
Former MSgt, OHANG
Former 2/Lt, CAP, Composite Squadron 1000

[ 04-08-2004, 09:15: Message edited by: pawclaws ]
I don't know where poles are taken from, unless it is from the vets of the old Iraqi army!!! ;)
FUQUE Kerry!!!! Did I say that out loud? Vet? Right!

Just look at his voting record.........

We vet's and our boys in arms wil be absolutely SCREWED!!

I don't agree with 'everything' GW has done, BUT... I have to salute the man for standing his ground against the terrorist and he's got my vote.


USMC(Retired), but still on watch
Me, my wife, and two sons, will vote for Bush. Everyone here is vehemently opposed to Kerry. That makes it 11-0
Fred-You don't really have to be a vet, there are a few on here that put in their votes that arn't.
Kerry is not the kind of leader I would have wanted in 1969 and he damn sure ain't what I want now. GW gets my vote and my wife feels the same.

Y.H. Just cuz' your Canadian we won't hold it against ya but you can't vote in this one Bud.
Originally posted by Nut:
I'm not a vet. Just like Cheney. :D
That wasnt stating that I "Like" Cheney. It was a statement of fact that I was like Cheney in the fact that I never served in the military.

So do not include me in the voting for Bush or Kerry. I dont care for any stupid politician because they are sluts to the campaign funds.

If given any choice at all I would write my own name in. I serve my best interests first unlike any of them would. :D
This Independent vet is still weighing his options, but you can bet your @ss, there's two votes in my household that WON'T vote for Kerry!

If this is any indication of where our country is actually going, I wonder where all of the posters are getting their info...Could it be some place down in Florida where the chads are hanging a little lose....?.. ;)