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I founded War Kids Relief after returning from serving in the Army in Iraq to keep youth from being recruited by extremist groups. Now they are doing this critical work in Afghanistan, and I wanted to invite you to give us a helping hand. Thanks to the contribution of a generous supporter, War Kids Relief will earn $1 for each viewing of our newest video, up to $10,000. This initiative will only last until May 23, so please watch today!

Watch Now!

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Yesterday, the Department of Defense made an unprecedented statement about the impact of climate change on our security. We at the Truman National Security Project have been pointing out how leading national security experts are seeing the threats posed by climate change.  This is why we created Operation Free and its why leading veterans across the country are educating the America people on these national security challenges.

Monday, though, the Department of Defense officially said that climate change poses a long term strategic challenge to American security and international stability... and they said so in the Quadrennial Defense Review. The QDR, as it’s called, is the Defense Department’s definitive statement of strategy, threats, and long term planning.

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Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has a reputation in the Keystone State for making asinine comments. But this one caught me a little off guard...

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I served for 15 months in Iraq as a Captain in the Army’s 1st Armored Division, and like so many of my fellow Iraq and Afghanistan veterans I returned on a new mission.  This mission was, and continues to be, to help raise awareness and educate the American people not only on the wars we are currently fighting, but on the national security challenges our great nation faces.  For generations, veterans have done this and they have seen this as a continuation of their service to Constitution and the American people.

Hundreds of us have joined forces with a coalition of nation security organizations to form Operation FREE to raise awareness about the links between climate change and national security.  Many are even riding buses across the country to talk to the American people about this issue.

Unfortunately, Republican Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe believes that all of us are "Benedict Arnolds" and "traitor(s) to the oath he or she took (to) defend the Constitution."

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Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 11:29 AM PST

Military Leaders for Kids

by Jon Powers

In today’s Politico, two retired military leaders make a tremendous argument for real investment in programs of positive youth development.  Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Hugh Shelton, and former Secretary of the Navy John Dalton, should be applauded for drawing attention to the growing challenges our children face.

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A fellow soldier who I had served with in the streets of Baghdad and I waited for Senator John Kerry in the Russell Office Building nervous to meet the man who only recently ended his campaign for President of the United States.  He was hosting a screening of the documentary Gunner Palace which was based on our "Gunner" Battalion’s experience in Baghdad, Iraq and dove into the soldier’s experience in this war.  We were honored to have a few moments to share with the Senator before the screening, but expected he would introduce the film and move on to other business of the day.  To our pleasant surprise, he not only stayed to watch the entire film, but led in depth conversation focusing on what our men and women were facing on the ground in Iraq

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Baghdad, Iraq
June, 2003.

Lt. Eddie Quan and I worked our way through a crowd of thousands of local Iraqi citizens who had shown up to vote in the first real election this town had seen in decades.  Eddie and I pushed our chain of command to allow us, Alpha Battery, to hold a community vote to select the members of the new Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC).  Many units simply hand selected the people they wanted on the NAC, and we did not feel that this was right.  Like many of my fellow soldiers we were still under the belief that our mission in Baghdad was to bring the opportunity for "freedom" to the Iraqi people, and elections were a critical part of that.

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Since the early days of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers have been returning home and finding themselves engaged in politics for the first time in their lives. Many of us have taken the lead of those who have come before, from Gulf War I, Vietnam, or Korea. As we have discovered the incredible bond that fellow veterans share we also discovered the voice that veterans can bring to the discussions in Washington. It is a continuation of our call to duty. We have seen the development of organizations on both sides of the political spectrum such as Votevets, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America (IAVA), VETPAC, Veterans for Freedom, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and others. It is becoming increasingly important that both the progressive movement and the Democratic Party as a whole harnesses the voices that this community. These voices are critical as November 4th quickly approaches.

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For more than a year, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of Western New Yorkers who represent the best of our community as I have campaigned for the 26th Congressional district. This campaign has been invigorating, encouraging, at times ugly, but always worthwhile. It has always been a great honor to listen to so many hard-working and dedicated Western New Yorkers as they tell me their stories.

Running for Congress is never something I expected to do, but when I returned to Western New York after serving nearly 15 months in Iraq, I was disheartened and frustrated.

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Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 11:54 AM PDT

NY-26: Thank You, MissLaura

by Jon Powers

In her front page diary yesterday, MissLaura was on the mark in so many ways:

The New York state primary is one week from today. On that day, voters will decide -- and the rest of us will find out -- if the Democratic nominee from NY-26 is Orange to Blue candidate Jon Powers or Jack Davis, one of the most odious candidates running as a Democrat this cycle.

....and:

Contributions to Powers made today are particularly crucial -- this is his last real chance to assess where he stands and make ad buys. He needs the money to put on a strong push this week to defeat Davis.

She repeatedly made appeals for donations to our campaign, and for that, I say Thank you , MissLaura, and thank you to all who contributed.

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Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:59 PM PDT

NY-26: Introducing Jon Powers

by Jon Powers

Tomorrow, our first ad will be going up on the air in the 26th District, but I wanted to give everyone here a sneak preview.

Here's the spot.

Our primary is on September 9, only 21 days away, and we are in a tough fight against millionaire Jack Davis. He has been on the air for a few weeks, and we have to catch up.

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Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 02:43 PM PDT

NY-26: Thank You

by Jon Powers

Yesterday, the Dailykos community really came through for our campaign. Early in the morning, the editorial staff challenged the readership to secure 200 donations for the Powers for Congress and Annette Taddeo's campaign.

Throughout the day, repeated posts were front paged giving us updates and encouraging people to join in. Then, my friend, John Kerry, honored us by posting a diary of his own in support of our race in Western New York.

Last night,at 10:44 PM EDT, redrelic17 put us over the top with the 200th donation...but it didn't stop there. By midnight, the Orange 2 Blue page had registered over 220 donations for our campaign and 240 for Annette.

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