Veterans group raises support for Romney

Kelsey Misbrener

The small but passionate group of Veterans for Romney complained that the media hardly covers the current fighting in Afghanistan.

Only seven people sat around the table at the Stow Victory Center venting frustrations and feelings about the current president with each other and with Ohio Senator Frank LaRose (R). A couple of volunteers made calls to independent and swing voters in the background, asking, “If there was an election today, would you vote for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama?”

Lance Reed, the Victory Captain at the temporary call center and meeting place, said he sent out emails, and the GOP placed automated calls advertising the event for veterans and military families. Still, the turnout was low.

But the people who did come were ignited about getting the Democrats out of office and the Republicans quickly in.

Nikki Perry, the 60-year-old wife of Tom Perry, who was on the Navy supply team in Vietnam from 1966-1972, said she could barely talk about the lack of media coverage without tearing up. She said citizens don’t realize people are dying in Afghanistan right now because, “there’s a Democrat in office and nobody’s covering it.”

She said she believes the media is liberal and biased because when Bush was in office, war casualties made headlines much more often.

“Now, it’s like everything’s hunky-dory,” Perry said.

Pamela Staff, a 32-year-old army wife, said she knows how many have died since the war began. She checks the website and receives emails directly from the army. She also knows because she attended 40 army funerals while her husband was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2005.

Staff befriended a wife of a Marine and fiancé of a Marine while her husband was being deployed, and the three of them called each other “battle buddies.”

“The three of us were going to get through deployment together,” Staff said. But in the end, both of her battle buddies lost their loved ones in the war. Staff’s husband was the only one to return.

Her husband was almost deployed to Afghanistan six weeks ago, but his mission was canceled. She said she would have been more skeptical this time around.

“Under a Republican president, we were always sort of part of the plan,” Staff said. “If we felt like there was a purpose, it’d be a lot easier to let them go.”

Staff said Obama never says a word about current battles. Many civilians, she said, think that there’s no war going on over there.

Senator LaRose, a veteran himself after serving in the United States Army, 101st Airborne and then the U.S. Special Forces, said it’s up to us as Americans to make sure we read news from different outlets and then develop the truth based on all of it rather than just one or two sources.

Contact Kelsey Misbrener at [email protected].