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NORFOLK -- Virginia has been declared a battleground state in this year's race for president.

Both sides are working hard to gain the support of a key constituency: military veterans. Virginia is home to 823,000 vets, which is more than 10% of the state's population.

Thursday, the Vice President's son, Beau Biden, visited Norfolk to launch a group called 'Veterans for Obama.' Beau is a member of the Delaware National Guard.

'We're a group of veterans who believe very strongly that the president should remain our commander in chief. They think he's been an exceptional commander in chief. I'm one of them. I served in Iraq a couple of years back, and this is a president who understands what it means to be commander in chief,' declared Beau Biden.

If the presidential candidate can get veterans on board, he has a pretty good shot of winning Virginia's 13 electoral college votes in November. But not all Hampton Roads vets agree that Obama should be re-elected.

'I didn't think he was qualified to take the presidency to begin with, and that was four years ago. And I don't think he's gotten any smarter. He's gotten slicker or slyer, but not smarter,' said retired Naval officer Chris Vatidis who also is not happy with the Obama administration's proposal to increase Tricare medical fees for vets.

Biden calls that change 'modest.'

'Tricare hasn't increased in over 16 years. At a time when health care costs are skyrocketing, there's been no increase in Tricare,' Biden stated.

Meantime, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he'll run his first TV ad of the general campaign in a couple of days. Data from television stations shows the ad will air in Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio -- all critical battleground states in the fall.




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