Separating from the military can sometimes pose a challenge to soldiers who have spent much of their adult lives serving their country, but a growing number of them are finding a different way to serve civilians. Dozens of veterans are up for political office this fall, ranging from Senators to local government officials, The Associated Press reports.
Though not unusual for servicemembers to run for office, the numbers have spiked as of late due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The trend also comes as the number of politicians who have served is at an all-time low, with just about 20 percent of members of Congress having been in the military. Many vets, including former Marine Seth Lynn, thinks an increase in the number of troops in government could have a profound impact.
"I'm not saying that the two are necessarily a causal relationship," Lynn, who helps train servicemembers running for office, told the AP. "But I do think that there is that ability to put your country before yourself, but also to work together across party lines, that Americans want more that just isn’t happening in Washington."
Some veterans are embroiled in some of the highest-profile races in the country. Among the most well-known is Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq vet and former helicopter pilot who lost her legs after a 2004 crash. She is running to represent Illinois' 8th district in Congress.