handicapped, veterans, Louisiana, voting, election - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Handicapped veterans need voting help

Posted: Updated: Oct 17, 2012 06:39 PM

MONROE, LA. (KNOE 8 News) - "This was at the end of the war and those people were starving to death over there and they would knock you down for a cigarette butt."

James Doughty still has plenty of stories from his service in the Pacific in WWII.

Now at the Northeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Monroe, he's seen where our country's been and where it is now.

But when it comes to making his voice heard, many polls are out of his reach.

"This chair, I'm permanently stuck to it, you see," Doughty said. "They could take me someplace else, see, but it would be a little more difficult."

"I've voted every year of my life," WWII Veteran, Ben Reinninger, said.

Reinninger said if the frozen lands of Alaska in WWII couldn't stop him, he won't stop voting now.

So the home and the Ouachita Parish Registrar of Voters brought the ballots to them.

"Whether it's the handicap voting, the mail-in votings, we have some that even want to be taken to the polls. They still want that experience of going to the polls and vote so we make sure they get to do that," Associate Administrator for the Veterans Home, Tommy Shoemaker, said.

Though the uniforms and the equipment these veterans used may be in display cases now, what they call timeless is the right that they fought for.

The right to vote.

Shoemaker understands that too, having lost the use of his leg in Afghanistan in 2006.

"It's hard for us veterans to understand why people don't go out and vote," he said. "This is our right. People have served to keep that right."

These soldiers of the past, though time tries to keep them down, are now getting the chance to continue to fight for our freedom in whatever way they can.

They hope the rest of the country joins them.

"And don't forget to vote when it comes time to vote!" Doughty said.

If you are a disabled veteran at home and need help casting your vote too, trying giving the NELA War Veterans Home a call at 318-362-4206.

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