As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, May 30, 2008

CA-04: Serving The Veteran Community

If you have a moment, do go to Calitics and read this diary by Charlie Brown's online campaign director.

You want them to hear the desperate cries of the Iraq Veteran who contacts the campaign to say he is contemplating suicide. Or the e-mail from the married father of two who already tried. You want them to meet the Gold Star mother who calls for gas money, so she can afford to take one of the guys from her son's unit to the VA for rehab. Or the Vietnam Vet who has weeks to live because of Agent Orange exposure, and has had his VA benefits denied for years. And the list goes on, and on and on...

Every day, these are just some of the people who are reaching out-from across the country---to the Charlie Brown for Congress Campaign.

They're not calling to volunteer, contribute, schedule a meeting or inquire about a policy position. They aren't even calling to express their support or opposition to Charlie's candidacy.

They called to ask for help.

It begs the question, why would anyone call a Congressional Challenger who has never held public office before for help? [...]

Charlie's making history not by virtue of who he is (though one could argue that a Congressman who is a career military officer, husband of a veteran, and father to a son who has done 4 rotations in Iraq is far from typical these days), but what he is doing to address one of the many OLD problems on which politicians have over promised and under delivered for years-the plight of America's war veterans.

I came back to fight for Charlie because I knew that this campaign took a different approach to solving problems---leadership by example. With Charlie's "Promises Kept Veteran's Charity Challenge," we're seeing community based organizations that fill in the gaps for veterans get the support they so badly need. The 5% of campaign contributions that Charlie is giving these groups helps to keep the lights on at shelters, supply those places with blankets and food and office supplies, and help pay for qualified counselors to do outreach on the streets.

This is an issue that's starting to reach critical mass, and Charlie Brown is at the forefront of it. Between recent reports about record numbers of veteran suicides and foreclosures in military towns tripling the average rate, the care and treatment of our veterans is an absolute disgrace. And it has fallen to leaders like Brown, BEFORE reaching Congress, to show the compassion and wisdom to get those who serve this country what they need.

I can't have more pride in how he's running this campaign. Particularly compared to the two Republicans who are engaging in a slap fight and spending $4 million dollars in a game of character assassination. Who's the real leader here?

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