Introducing Michelle Obama, seeking military vote

September 4, 2012

President Obama's play for military veterans and their families continued Tuesday, when Michelle Obama was scheduled to be introduced at the Democratic National Convention by a woman with a family's worth of military credentials.

The president, meanwhile, was introduced by a veteran of the Vietnam War during a campaign appearance in Norfolk, where he continued a pre-convention tour that will bring him to Charlotte on Wednesday.

Obama has been emphasizing his record on military affairs on the campaign trail -- not only his wind-down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and decision to order the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, but also efforts on the home front to provide services to returning veterans and their families. Last week, he traveled to Fort Bliss in El Paso to announce a new emphasis on mental-health services and other treatments for the "unseen wounds" of combat duty.

Elaine Brye of Winona, Ohio, will introduce the first lady on the opening night of the three-day convention in Charlotte. Of Brye's five children, four serve in the military -- each in a different branch. Brye herself was in the Air Force ROTC, where she met her husband, Courtney, a former Air Force pilot and veteran of the Vietnam war.

It gets better: Brye is from Ohio, perhaps the year's top battleground. She has an Afghanistan connection too, allowing the Obamas to tout the president's plans to wind down the war there. Brye taught at an international school in Kabul after her husband retired from USAirways and went to Afghanistan to help an Afghan airline.

Brye came to the attention of the Obamas after writing a letter to the first lady thanking her for her advocacy on behalf of military families. The Bryes attended a state dinner held in honor of British Prime Minster David Cameron earlier this year.

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David Nakamura | September 4, 2012