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Veterans Supporting Obama Speak About the Candidate

As the theme of Wednesday's Democratic national convention is national security, the role of the military and foreign policy has played heavily into the night's events. Military veterans who are supporting Senator Barack Obama give their view on the election and the man.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    I'm joined now by three military veterans.

    Retired Navy Rear Admiral James Arden Barnett, Jr., served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

    Maura Sullivan, who served as a logistics officer for the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq in 2005.

    And Westley Moore, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve. While on active duty, he completed a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan and earned a Bronze Star medal.

    Welcome to you all.

    Admiral, after watching a film like that — we're at a political event, at a political convention — how do you connect your experience as a military officer with the political decision that you're making by being here?

    REAR ADM. JAMES ARDEN BARNETT (Ret.), U.S. Navy: You know, after that moving film, it convicts me even more that we need to make sure that we provide to these young men and women the best possible judgment in their commander-in-chief. And that's why I'm here.

    Barack Obama again and again has shown his strategic foresight and vision and his ability to use that information available to make the right decision. If we're going to send men and women around the world and into combat, we must have someone who can make those hard decisions and use good judgment.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Westley Moore, as we were watching that, I was thinking to myself that the entire evening seemed to be a build-up of Democrats saying, "We are — we do have the bona fides to defend the military." Why do Democrats have to make that case?

  • CAPT. WESTLEY MOORE, U.S. Army Reserve:

    I think Democrats have to make that case because traditionally Republicans have always tried to beat Democrats to the punch in terms of being the party that really solidly is behind the military and behind the soldiers.

    I think this year, as the admiral said, I think this year Barack Obama has such a solid argument, because he's shown such a vision towards not only how to take care of the troops once we're overseas fighting, but then also how to take care of the troops when we come back home.

    And I think there's a real argument this year — this year in particular — for the Democrats to say that we are the party to actually go forth and really create a solid foundation for how to take care of our troops and their families.

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