Obama: I Must 'Earn the Trust' of US Military

Questions provisions for troops, use of civilian contractors
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2008 3:08 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., meets with military leaders from the U.S. armed forces prior to a news conference in Chicago, Wednesday, March 12, 2008.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – Because he hasn't served in the military, Barack Obama says, “I have to earn the trust of men and women in uniform.” In a wide-ranging interview with Military Times, the presumptive Democratic nominee vowed to raise pay and improve health care for service members, promised he would not preside over “precipitous” withdrawal from Iraq, and said the military unfairly received flack for “bad planning on the civilian side.”

"I don’t know a higher priority than making sure that the men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way, day in and day out, are getting decent pay and decent benefit," he said. "These are just basic requirements of a grateful nation."