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Military issues a big deal to voters

September 10, 2012
By Sharon Bopp ( , The Marietta Times

With less than nine weeks left until November's presidential election, there's been little talk from the two candidates about military action overseas.

Voters in the Mid Ohio Valley have plenty of opinions on the subject.

Don Sprague, 69, of Marietta agreed. From 1962 to 1965 during the Vietnam War he served as a Specialist D-5 in the U.S. Army in Korea.

"I don't like the way our vets have been treated once they have protected our country," said Sprague.

Sprague said he too will be "watching in the next couple months" to see what the presidential candidates say about military issues.

Sprague has a firm belief about presidential candidates and military service.

"I believe that anybody who's president should have been in active military duty," noted Sprague.

Paul McNemar, 58, of Parkersburg thinks anything the military is involved in is important.

McNemar's father was wounded in the Korean Conflict and received a Purple Heart.

"They're out there protecting our freedom," McNemar said.

McNemar said he will be reading about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's political platforms, to see how they stand on military issues.

"If they don't include our military in any of their (platforms), it will affect the way I vote," noted McNemar.

McNemar is also disturbed by the treatment of American veterans returning home.

"It's sad that they have to battle for everything once they come back," said McNemar.

Chuck Shields, 71 of The Plains wants to see the nation's next president get America out of the conflicts in the Middle East.

"If one of them said he was all for bringing (troops) home and getting them out of there, I will vote for him,"Shields said.

Bryce Goodwin, 66, of Vienna was in agreement.

"We don't need to be there (Middle East) this long," Goodwin said. "It's almost 11 years."

Their bring-the-troops-home sentiments were echoed by Tom Insley, 65, of Marietta.

"We should have gone in, done what we needed to do in a short period of time and gotten out," Insley noted.

Shields believes politicians are interested in the Middle East's fuel reserves and the money the reserves represent.

"(U.S. politicians) control the fuel, so they're gonna make sure that they keep getting plenty of money for their fuel," noted Shields.

Goodwin said the presidential candidates aren't focusing on military issues.

"From what I see right now, I don't see (that issue) makes a whole lot of difference to them," said Goodwin.

According to Insley, the two presidential candidates aren't paying attention to the military issue because there are other pressing issues to consider.

"It's because of the state the United States is in with the economy so bad," said Insley. "Unemployment rates are so high across the whole nation."

According to Brenda McGinnis, 60, of Parkersburg, U.S. veterans and members of the military are upset about politicians who want to cut the military's budget.

However, she thinks military operations overseas will not be the focus of November's presidential election.

"No, I think most of it's going to be on the economy and debt," said McGinnis. "To me, the national debt wipes out any other issue. ...It's astronomical and it's got to be taken care of."

Melissa Cone, 34, of Lancaster said she is tired of the "drama" associated with presidential politics, when there are Americans without jobs and rising prices for goods.

"Everyone is talking about (Michelle Obama's) fingernails," Cone said. "That just blows my mind because they're so not important."



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