Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, speaking before veterans, their family members and others in Fargo this afternoon, said the country must do better by those who serve in the military.
Speaking for about 20 minutes at the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm under a bright sky and with his dress shirt sleeves rolled up, Obama noted that the Fourth of July is not only about barbecues, parades and fireworks, but the United States should be sending its young men and women "to war [only] when we must and giving them the equipment they need."
He also contended the medical and financial help for veterans when they return home needs to improve. "It doesn't have to be this way," he said.
Whether going to war is the right decision or not, Obama added, "Caring for our veterans is something that we can still get right."
He pledged, if elected, to reduce the red tape that veterans face when seeking medical treatment or help with education and housing benefits.
He said he wants to expand funding to help veterans buy homes, and medical treatment for mental health care and brain injuries needs "to dramatically improve."
As for financial aid for education, Obama said, the government needs to look to how the GI Bill helped World War II veterans and pay the full bill for college.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482