FORT BRAGG, NC - As the 2012 Presidential election race heats up, both candidates have engaged in a political firefight for the votes of military service-members and veterans.
While President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney regularly wear flag lapel pins, they are also trying to differentiate themselves to appeal to potential supporters in uniform.
President Obama hopes to capitalize on his experiences as commander-in-chief. In fact, political operatives within the Democratic National Committee announced that Fort Bragg Army base would be host to their upcoming convention.
A DNC spokesman cited budget concerns as the primary reason for the short move away from Charlotte, NC.
"Unfortunately the DNC has a 26 million dollar fundraising shortfall," said Brad Woodhouse. "But we feel it is also a great way to be closer to our troops and save some money by holding it at Fort Bragg's Pike Field."
David Axelrod, the President's campaign advisor, was skeptical of the venue change due to the President's lack of military credentials.
The commander-in-chief, however, calmed his fears by reminding him of "his 'gutsy call' to nab bin Laden, the recent killing of three Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, and frequent military-like salutes to Marines after he departs from his helicopter."
"Not to mention his occasional Saddam Hussein-esque firing of a rifle from the White House balcony," Axelrod added.
The move comes as both candidates seek the approval of the nation's uniformed men and women in an election where neither candidate has prior military experience.
The Romney campaign blasted the use of a military base for political purposes as unconstitutional, while also talking about their candidate's service in uniform.
"Mitt Romney has selflessly served our nation since April 1965 when he enlisted in the elite ranks of the Selective Service," said campaign manager Matt Rhoades. "Furthermore, while deployed on missions to France in the seventies, he fought tirelessly against communist aggression in Vietnam."
Rhoades also added that Romney ate "a ton of freedom fries to show his support for the troops during the Iraq war."
Despite objections from the right, the Democratic National Convention activities will include a demonstration by
Rendering of the 'Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions' campaign ad that the DNC hopes to achieve
the U.S. Army parachute team, a military parade with pass-in-review of the President, and a special trip out to a demolitions range.
"We don't need to do polling to know the American people love to see big-ass explosions," said Axelrod. "So for the big finale, we're going to have the President set some C-4 out on a building and slowly walk away as it explodes. The photos are going to be phenomenal!"
The Republican National Convention, held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, will also feature Mitt Romney rappelling into the arena and onto the stage, where it is rumored he'll perform "America, Fuck Yeah!" as troops from the nearby MacDill Air Force base dance in the background.
Duffel Blog investigative journalist Paul also contributed to this report.