His name was Bobby Bullock.
Like countless young men, Bobby served his country in Vietnam as a soldier in the United States Army.
Bobby is no longer with us, a victim of cancer in 2004. He was just 58 years old.
We know a bit of Bobby’s story because his daughter, Anita Branch, wrote about his service and about his patriotism and his appreciation for democracy.
Anita tells his story — of all places — on the state’s elections website. It’s part of a program to vote in honor of a veteran, and a program we wholeheartedly endorse. Not only does this program honor those deserving men and women of our military, but it has the potential to increase voter turnout at the polls, a cause always to be championed.
“I’d like to submit a request to vote in honor of my daddy. His name is Bobby Bullock … ,” wrote Anita.
“One of the main things my daddy stressed to me my whole life was how important it was to vote. He was adamant that everyone take advantage of the opportunity that our military provided and still provides for us as citizens of this United States. As soon as I was old enough, he took me to my local town hall to register. Every election thereafter, he was certain to remind me, ‘Don’t forget to go vote today.’ He was so excited when I took a job with the Beaufort County Board of Elections. He knew then that I’d never forget to vote! My job gives me the wonderful opportunity of assisting many others in registering to vote … I miss terribly his gentle reminders to go vote. But one thing is for sure, he made me proud to be a United States citizen and I’ll be sure to carry on that legacy with my two boys,” she wrote.
North Carolina successfully launched this program in time for the 2008 General Election, and saw more than 2,000 veterans honored. The Vote in Honor of a Veteran Program provides North Carolina citizens an opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served this country and protected our freedom. You can honor a veteran this upcoming General Election by requesting a button and/or sharing a story that may be posted on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website, www.ncsbe.gov. Look for the Resources and Programs link.
Each button will be personalized with the name of the veteran that you wish to honor. The button is a way for you to show your pride in a veteran or active duty service member on Election Day. These buttons are being provided free of charge by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. You can request a personalized button by emailing a request or printing out a request form and mailing it in.
So this fall, vote in honor of a veteran.
It’s a simple gesture, yet one of grand importance — you advance our democracy, and give a respectful nod to someone who served our country defending that democracy.