How do veterans issues play in N. Carolina?

With North Carolina being home to more than three quarters of a million veterans, two of the world's largest military bases and a state National Guard that has played an outsize role in Iraq, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been quick to evoke veterans' issues on the campaign trail there and to deploy veterans to campaign for them at legion halls and VFW posts.

For more than 100,000 active duty, National Guard and Reserve troops and their families, the biggest consequence of a Clinton or Obama presidency would likely come from their plans to pull troops out of Iraq. Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, has said U.S. forces need to stay there until the country is politically stable — even if that takes years.

Some veterans like what they hear about expanded benefits and improvements to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' health-care system. Many, though, are skeptical that any politicians, Democrat or Republican, will do what they promise. Others say even if the candidates are serious, they won't have the power to make major changes.

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