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Reservist Spotlight
Capt. Seth McCormick Lynn, USMCR, started Veterans Campaign after realizing many fellow service members would make great politicians. With the number of veterans in elected office at an all-time low (even controlling for a smaller military), Lynn’s education-based nonprofit stresses the necessity of veterans learning fundamentals like fund raising and avoiding political gaffes. Veterans Campaign is affiliated with The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
What qualities make veterans effective politicians? You have this career where doing the right thing is part of the culture. If you’re willing to risk your life serving the country overseas, there’s a pretty good indication you’ll take that same selfless attitude with you to office.


There [also] tends to be a lot of bipartisanship that you don’t see with any other background. … Ultimately, your common bond of serving in the military is one of the few things that transcends your partisan affiliation.


[And veterans] tend to be a lot more focused on how it’s going to get done. They read between the lines. [Especially] before committing forces to combat [and] withdrawing … they’ve really thought through the process.
What skills might veterans need to develop? It’s not so much skills as an understanding of how things work in politics. It can be at times like getting into cold water, getting used to a certain level of ethics. [Also] fund raising. If you’ve never had to ask people for money — it’s hard, and it’s something you feel like you should never have to do.


In addition to that … how do you communicate your service record … in a way that’s going to mean something to your constituents?
Is the upcoming election piquing veterans’ interest? People are thinking more about politics, but getting folks who can actually step away from their jobs … gets harder as you get closer to November. People have been getting more and more interested in running, especially with the new defense posture we’ve had and these veterans’ issues we’ve had coming up.
— Willow Nero


 


Attention!
Check out these military-related entertainment offerings.


AUDIOBOOK ONCE AN EAGLE (Blackstone Audio, 2011) Assigned reading at several of the service academies, this bestselling novel by Anton Myrer now is available in an unabridged audio book, narrated by Grover Garland. It explores both self-interest and selflessness in military service through two characters — one dedicated to his men and another career driven to excess.


BOOK RAIN FALLS LIKE MERCY (Touchstone, 2011) Author Jack Todd grips readers in a fast-paced story about a sheriff’s murder investigation interrupted, but not abandoned, due to the onset of World War II and the main characters’ tours of duty.


BOOK A WARRIOR’S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOURSELF AND OTHERS (Potomac Books, 2011) Learn from both military and medical professionals how to handle the physical and psychological demands of military life and service. MO


*online: Learn more about Veterans Campaign at www.veteranscampaign.org.


28 MILITARY OFFICER APRIL 2012

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