When Barack Obama first came to Oregon we did a show about race. When Hillary Clinton came we talked about gender and the generational divide. Now that John McCain is coming, we’re turning to veterans.
One of the big things that differentiates John McCain from the other people vying to be the next Commander in Chief is his military experience. He served as a Navy pilot in Vietnam, flying attack aircraft from carriers. In 1967, he was shot down, injured, and then held captive as a prisoner of war for five-and-a-half years.
This experience has obviously shaped his life, his campaign, and his position on the war in Iraq and veterans affairs.
Are you a veteran of war? How has your experience shaped the way you look at the presidential race? How important is support for military families, healthcare for retired veterans, the recognition of servicepeople killed at war to you?
Do you think someone needs to be a veteran of war in order to be an effective Commander in Chief?
How does your experience at war impact your vote?
General Merrill ?Tony? McPeak (retired): Senator Barack Obama’s military advisor and national campaign co-chairman
Tim Glaser: Veteran of Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. He now works as a computer contractor and lives in East Vancouver
John Neuman: A six-tour veteran of the Vietnam War, regional director of the Pacific Rim States for the Vietnam Veterans Association and founder of Veterans of Oregon