GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The North Carolina National Guard Association has 16,000 members—some of those veterans are active, some are retired.
These members are invited to the association's annual convention. This year’s 55th annual convention was held in Greensboro at the Koury Center.
In addition to inviting its members, this year the association also invited candidates running for public offices in North Carolina.
Candidates for Office of the Governor, Office of United States Senate and Office of Lt. Governor spoke to a crowd of veterans.
Organizers with the association said they invited the candidates so their members could be educated on where the candidates stand on political issues and how these politicians would advocate for veterans in elected.
“We serve as the key responders for our local governments and our state governments,” said Craig Lloyd, Executive Director of the North Carolina National Guard Assosication. “So in the event of a hurricane, a natural disaster, a terrorist attack, National Guard men and women are typically on the scene to reinforce our local law enforcement.”
The candidate forum kicked off with those running for Governor.
Attorney General of North Carolina Roy Cooper addressed the crowd first. Cooper thanked the veterans for their service and identified his overall goals if elected: including improving public education and making changes to the economic system to benefit the working, middle class. When asked about House Bill 2, Cooper said the repeal of the law should be a priority for lawmakers.
The Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, highlighted what he’s done specifically to help the National Guard and also what he’s done to help veterans: including getting bonds passed to build new armories, budgeting for tuition help for veterans, investing in training facilities, and helping veterans to get jobs that go in line with the experience they’ve received while serving—such as working in EMS and law enforcement. McCrory continues to standby the bathroom requirement of House Bill 2.