Updated: Obama Talks of Family's Military Service

(CBS)


From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:


LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Despite not having served in the military himself, Barack Obama used his Memorial Day remarks to speak about his family's service. "My grandfather marched in Patton's army, but I cannot know what it is to walk into battle like so many of you," he told a small group of veterans here. "My grandmother worked on a bomber assembly line, but I cannot know what it is for a family to sacrifice like so many of yours have."

Obama said he supports the new GI Bill because of his grandfather's experience in the program after World War II. "We should make sure that today's veterans get the same benefit that my grandfather got when he came back from World War II," Obama said. "It was a good investment not only for him, but it was a good investment for the country, built our middle class. So we're going to make sure that that gets passed."

He said President Bush may veto the bill, but he vowed to try and override it if it comes back to the House and Senate.

Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz. He said the family legend is that, upon returning from war, his uncle spent six months in an attic. "Now obviously, something had really affected him deeply, but at that time there just weren't the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain," Obama said. "That's why this idea of making sure that every single veteran, when they are discharged, are screened for post-traumatic stress disorder and given the mental health services that they need – that's why it's so important."

Update: Obama's campaign clarified the comments about the candidate's great-uncle liberating Auschwitz, saying Obama was "mistaken," and was referring to Buchenwald, not Auschwitz. "Senator Obama's family is proud of the service of his grandfather and uncles in World War II – especially the fact that his great uncle was a part of liberating one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald," said spokesman Bill Burton.





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