President Obama has been commander-in-chief for over three years and military personnel seem to appreciate HIS service. They are contributing to his re-election campaign at five times the rate that they’re contributing to Mitt Romney’s. Army employees—the ‘boots on the ground’—have been especially generous, contributing $108,571 to the President while giving only $22,004 to his opponent.
While neither Obama nor Romney is a veteran, Obama certainly has paid his dues in his handling of military decisions. As he said in his Memorial Day speech, “For the first time in nine years, Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq. We are winding down the war in Afghanistan and our troops will continue to come home.” This certainly appeals to those who have been, or could be, sent overseas, but Obama has demonstrated his judgment and leadership in other ways. For instance, he ordered the mission that found and killed Osama bin Laden, and he joined with NATO in Libya to help oust Moammar Gadhafi.
At home, the administration has undertaken programs to help veterans find work, pay for housing, and go to school. Obama has promised to protect veteran health care benefits from privatization—a move that Romney wants to implement. As American service members have become younger and more diverse, they’ve been open to some of the more controversial changes to their culture that Obama has initiated, such as allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to openly serve their country.
Although much has been made of the tendency of veterans to vote Republican, Obama actually won in 2008 among veterans under the age of 60. “The president has support in the military—he always has,” said Jon Soltz, an Iraq War veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org, a political advocacy group. “Republicans, on the other hand, have never had as much support as they have tried to sell.”
Whatever the factors contributing to their decision, the results are indisputable: active-duty military are opening up their wallets to demonstrate belief in their President.