A growing, important part of the nation's political dynamic
Young combat veterans who work on behalf of political campaigns or initiatives are featured in a recent article in the New York Times. While Pentagon regulations still ban partisan activity for active-duty service members, for many of the 869,000 Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and subsequently left the service, engaging in politics has become another type of duty.
From joining political campaigns to working for nonpartisan, politically engaged groups, many of these veterans are returning from war with a calling to engage civically, some for the first time in their lives.
The Times article states that “Scores more young veterans are volunteering for the presidential campaigns, speaking at rallies or knocking on doors, while 150,000 or so have joined new groups that have no official party association but have spent millions on advertisements supporting points of view on the Iraq and Afghan wars."
The Center for Democracy and Citizenship’s Warrior to Citizen Campaign exists to recognize the contributions that veterans make both overseas and in their communities. With so many veterans returning home with new skills and, like the Times article illustrates, a calling to be civically engaged, initiatives like the Warrior to Citizen Campaign are ever more important to help support and connect veterans to the communities they left behind.
To illustrate how veterans are using their skills and passions when they arrive home from deployment, the Warrior to Citizen Oral History Project is chronicling the stories and contributions of Minnesota’s most recent returning veterans in an exhibition, which will travel the state of Minnesota beginning in January 2009.
To read the full text of the article, click here.