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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, July 08, 2003


Dean Receives Veterans' Award

posted by G at Tuesday, July 08, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Veterans for Democratic Action, a progressive veteran political and service committee, recently presented Gov. Dean with a Special Award for Outstanding Service to Our Nation's Veterans. Here is the description of the ceremony by Vickie Wilson, VDA Secretary, AMVETS Post 66, 3rd Vice Commander.

Tom Swann set the stage with a very moving speech prior to my presentation of the award. Governor Dean and the audience seemed to be captivated by what Tom was saying. He said he was co-chair of the salute to veterans at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Tom said the other co-chair went to the Kerry campaign and people booed. Then Tom said he made the best choice and endorsed Dean and the veterans cheered wildly. Tom brought tears when he said he was blind due to an HMO Horror Story. Gov. Dean is a former internal medicine doctor and wants to fix the HMO's. Tom could not sue his HMO and Dean supports a Patient's Bill of Rights. Tom said Bush waves the flag but cut the VA health care budget. Veterans are seeking permanent VA medical funding so Bush cannot meddle anymore with people's lives. Tom talked about the number of veterans who cannot access their VA health care benefits. Lastly Tom said combat veterans who have seen the horrors of war cherish peace and Dean will keep the peace and save lives.

As Tom spoke my thoughts raced through all that Governor Dean had done to try and save our precious men and women and the innocent Iraqi people from an unjust war for oil and power that had been planned for years. I thought, here is a true compassionate person, unlike the phony, un-elected, chicken hawk squatting in PRESIDENT Gore's (White) house.

When Tom finished his presentation there was exuberant applause from the crowd. Then, Tom introduced me to give the actual presentation. As I read the award and watched Governor Dean, he appeared to be very, very surprised and moved by the words of this award, which are shown below. As I read I became a little emotional as I again thought of all that Dean had done and the risks that he had taken to preserve peace and democracy in our great nation. After I finished the presentation, the crowd again broke into cheers and applause. In my book of memories, this will always stand out and warm my heart, no matter what happens in Governor Dean's future. Also, the memories of this moment will also continue to ignite and my fightin g spirit to take back democracy and our great country that ALL of us veterans have fought and died to preserve.

Gov. Dean, Vickie Wilson and Tom Swann

Gov. Dean, Owner of Riverside Flower Loft and Mark Takano

Photography by Matthew Blais, MPB Creative Services.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.