As a Summer Organizer, I met diverse members of the Fort Collins community who reminded me how important this next election is to the lives of the American people. One person I met is James, a 28-year-old veteran who explained to me why it is important to him that President Obama is elected in 2012.
James joined the military in 2003 and served the nation for the next eight years. He spent 37 months in Iraq as an Infantry Squad Leader and as a Battalion Master Gunner. Now he’s back in Fort Collins attending college thanks to the post-9/11 GI bill that the President voted for and implemented. Because of that bill, James says he can “focus on school and not worry about his financial health.”
James (far right in photo above) says that the way the president has handled issues related to the military have been a major factor in his decision to get involved in the campaign. After fighting in Iraq, James agrees that President Obama’s decision to withdraw forces from Iraq to focus on Afghanistan was the right move for our armed forces. In regard to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t tell, James says that not only has he served with gay soldiers, he knows a gay solider who was awarded a bronze star because he fought bravely for his nation. Says James, “Everyone that wants to serve their country should be able to. Period.”
Although James is no longer in the military, he is continuing to serve his nation by volunteering and helping to register new voters, and he plans to stay involved throughout 2011 and until Election Day in 2012. Throughout the summer, James and I became more than just OFA colleagues, we became friends. His story reminds me why this election is so important: The President’s policies have helped ordinary Americans. Like James and those who serve our nation overseas, we can give back to our nation by working for President Obama’s campaign. Go here to find an event near you.