Roll Call: Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) joined President Barack Obama in Virginia Beach today and issued a stinging attack on Mitt Romney’s failure to mention veterans during his presidential nomination acceptance speech, while also noting that Romney did not serve in the military.
“They will not say this, so I will say it for them. They are owed, if nothing else, at least a mention, some word of thanks and respect, when a presidential candidate who is their generational peer makes a speech accepting his party’s nomination to be commander in chief,” Webb said, according to his prepared remarks. “And they are owed much more than that – a guarantee that we will never betray the commitment that we made to them and to their loved ones.”
The former Marine and Navy secretary appeared to poke at Romney for receiving draft deferments during the Vietnam War.
“Gov. Romney and I are about the same age. Like millions of others in our generation, we came to adulthood facing the harsh realities of the Vietnam War,” Webb said, adding that he didn’t envy or resent choices people made about how to handle the draft as a long as they did so under the law.
“But those among us who stepped forward to face the harsh unknowns and the lifelong changes that can come from combat did so with the belief that their service would be honored and that our leaders would, in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, care for those who had borne the battle, and for their widows and their children.”
The veterans of that war “are not bitter. They know what they did. But in receiving veterans’ benefits, they are not takers. They were givers, in the ultimate sense of that word. There is a saying among war veterans: ‘All gave some, some gave all.’ This is not a culture of dependency. It is a part of a long tradition that gave this country its freedom and independence.”
Photos: 1) Jason Reed / Reuters 2) Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP 3) Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images / September 27, 2012