Iraq veterans opposed to the conflict and occupation there want convention attention on their issues. Todd Dennis with the Madison Chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War says the national veterans organization will be at both national conventions, starting with the DNC in Denver, where they hope to gain the attention of Barack Obama. “We're going to try to present Senator Obama or his staff a list of demands for better health care for returning veterans,” says Dennis. “Obviously, we'd like to hear the that Democratic national party will go along with our demand for immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces.”
Dennis concedes that the economy may now be a larger concern for many voters than the Iraq war, but believes part of the strain on the economy can be linked to the millions being spent on the occupation.
Media reports indicate Obama's campaign has gotten more money from active duty service members than that of John McCain. “I think it's clear that the active duty troops are fed up with the occupation,” says Dennis. “They want to end the occupation, and they're funding Senator Obama's campaign to do so.” And while Republican McCain portrays himself as the true friend of veterans, Dennis says not every veterans' group agrees with that assessment.