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John McCain campaigns for Mitt Romney among veterans in metro Detroit

by Candice Miller on July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012

By Kathleen Gray

Detroit Free Press

U.S. Sen. John McCain traveled to Michigan on Monday to rally support among military veterans for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

At a roundtable discussion at an American Legion Hall in Utica, veterans complained to McCain, R-Ariz., of how difficult it is to get jobs, benefits and training once they return home from war.

“We’ve got people processing claims who have no medical or military experience,” said Pat Daniels of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Therese Wrobel said her nephew was discouraged from filing a claim when he got back from the Iraq war.

“Because he’s a man, he’s supposed to be tough,” she said.

McCain, a Navy captain who was shot down over Hanoi, Vietnam, during the Vietnam War and spent six years in a prisoner of war camp, acknowledged that the country needs more qualified people to process veterans’ claims.

The failed 2008 Republican presidential candidate also took some time to hammer President Barack Obama.

“I worry about American leadership and this president who believes in leading from behind,” McCain said. “He’s always talking about withdrawal instead of victory.”

McCain did see a glimmer of good news for Michigan during the roundtable, hosted by U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township.

“I’m glad to hear unemployment among veterans here is only 11%,” he said. “Because it’s 14% nationally.”

Maj. Gregory Cooper of the Michigan National Guard said some collaborative efforts are under way to train returning veterans.

The National Guard is working with DTE Energy to get community colleges certified to train veterans for jobs that DTE has said will go to veterans, Cooper said.

After the invitation-only roundtable, about 150 people gathered in the American Legion Hall to meet McCain.

The senator also was to attend two fund-raisers for the Romney campaign in metro Detroit on Monday.

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