News / USA

    Obama to US Veterans: 'I've Got Your Back'

    President Barack Obama addresses convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. July 23, 2012President Barack Obama addresses convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. July 23, 2012
    x
    President Barack Obama addresses convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. July 23, 2012
    President Barack Obama addresses convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. July 23, 2012
    WHITE HOUSE — President Barack Obama on Monday used a speech in Reno, Nevada to a major organization of American military veterans to underscore his record on ending the war in Iraq and winding down U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

    The president is seeking the support of veterans as he runs for reelection in November.  He says he wants them to remember the pledge he kept to honorably end America's combat role in Iraq, and gradually end U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

    Obama says he hopes the steps he has taken to help veterans find jobs in a tough economy and assistance to military families will boost his approval rating, particularly among younger veterans.

    Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or VFW, a 2.1 million member organization, Obama cited all of this, along with U.S. successes against the al-Qaida terror network.  The United States is stronger and more respected, he said, because of his leadership.

    "As you reflect on recent years, as we look ahead to the challenges we face as a nation and the leadership that is required, you don't just have my words, you have my deeds.  You have my track record.  You have the promises I have made and the promises that I have kept," Obama said.

    Obama also used the speech to underscore actions his administration has taken to ensure that veterans receive better medical care, including rehabilitation services for those who have suffered life-altering wounds.

    The Pentagon says 4,487 Americans were killed and 32,226 others were wounded during the Iraq War.  Private groups say the number of injured is in the hundreds of thousands when traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions are taken into account.

    The Obama campaign released a new video on Monday, featuring Iraq and Vietnam veterans praising the president's policies.

    "We need a president to bring service members home and help our country get back to where it needs to be.  I think the person who can do that is President Obama," said veteran Hattie Daily, who served in Iraq, in the video.

    But public opinion surveys of U.S. veterans show Obama trailing his likely Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

    A Rasmussen poll released on Sunday has Romney leading the president 59 to 35 percent among likely voters who have served in the military, a result similar to a Gallup survey three months ago.

    When he addresses the VFW on Tuesday, Romney is expected to renew his criticism of the Obama administration's foreign policy, including on Iraq and Afghanistan, saying the president is weakening the military.

    President Obama addressed the issue on Monday ahead of Romney's appearance.

    "We will maintain our military superiority.  It will be second to none as long as I am president, and well into the future.  We have got the best trained, best-led, best-equipped military in history.  And as commander in chief, I am going to keep it that way," Obama said.

    On large mandatory spending cuts -- including for the military -- that could come at the end of the year, Obama urged Congress to agree on a balanced way to reduce the federal deficit while keeping the armed forces strong.

    The president said that although there is more work to do, including efforts to further reduce veteran unemployment, homelessness and suicides, he has upheld a "sacred trust" with the nation's veterans, saying "I've got your back."

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora