John Kerry visits Del. in final campaign push

Senator John Kerry appeared in Newark Friday on behalf of a trio of Democratic candidates in Tuesday’s election,

placing the focus on issues affecting veterans and military families.

Kerry, who ran for President in 2004, served two tours of duty in Vietnam and is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  He spoke in support of Senate candidate Chris Coons, saying he was a “supbeb” New Castle County Executive.

Coons said he would not be in favor of privatizing Veterans Affairs.

“I am someone who will continue the fight of Senator Carper and others to improve the quality of service of our Veterans Administration, to ensure that our Elsmere hospital and community centers are the best they can possibly be, and who will continue unflaggingly to support those who have served us overseas and here at home,” Co0ns said.

Kerry, Coons, Democratic US House candidate John Carney and Attorney General Beau Biden also met with veterans and their family members at the Lt. J. Allison O’Daniel V.F.W. Post 475.  Beau Biden spent a year on duty in Iraq as a member of the Delaware National Guard.

The Massachusetts Senator said he “knows this seat,” and referred to serving with Vice-President Joe Biden on the Foreign Relations Committee for 25 years.  Kerry said important decisions lie ahead regarding the future of US missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and dealing with possible threats in Pakistan, Iran and North Korea.

According to Kerry, Delaware has about 80,000 veterans, and nearly 10,900 who receive veterans’ pensions.  Many others have utilized the G.I. Bill to fund their educations.

“There are currently 600-some-thousand homeless in the US, 105-thousand of whom are deemed to be veterans,” Kerry said.  “We cannot leave veterans of these wars, the current armed services, prior wars, or even peacetime service… we can’t leave those people on the streets of our country, abandoned and helpless.”

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