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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Northeast Louisiana based committee seeks to increase veteran turnout at polls

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  • A nonpartisan group of Louisiana veterans has banded together to create a committee to encourage more veterans to get out and vote in the 2014 midterm elections.
    The committee seeks to promote political activity at the community and state level in order to back up the countrywide efforts the national veterans organizations pursue. The group reflects on the American Legion "Get out the Vote" campaign in its official literature.
    According to the committee, in 1920 the American Legion determined to get more Americans to vote on Election day to combat the apathy American citizens felt about their government. The committee to get out the veteran's vote hopes to combat the same sentiment in modern times.
    According to Huey P. O'Neal, a resident of West Monroe and co-founder of the committee, the group was formed after several veterans began talking about the country and expressed concern about its direction. O'Neal believes that Louisiana has enough veterans to make change a real possibility.
    "Our members are members of most major veterans organizations," O'Neal said, "We have enough veterans in the state to make our voices heard."
    O'Neal has also met with leaders of many veterans groups, including the Military Officers Association, and they plan to work together to establish an email network to spread the word.
    "Our main concern is about the direction of our country," O'Neal said, "and we would like to do something about it. We would like everybody to vote. It's a responsibility for everybody, especially vets. They've defended their country, now they need to defend it domestically."
    The group hopes to have a large push for voting after Labor Day and plans to utilize a new social network for all veterans, the Louisiana Vet Network, to keep in contact with voters.

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