Topeka Democratic congressional candidate Nancy Boyda emphasized veterans issues and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder as Kansas veterans stopped in three cities Saturday.
"When our young soldiers look at the way we are treating our veterans, we're finding we're having trouble recruiting at a time when we need it most," Boyda said.
Many participants criticized Congress and Boyda's opponent, incumbent Jim Ryun.
"When it comes to ratings by the Disabled American Veterans, Nancy's opponent received a zero for legislation regarding veterans," said Randy Barnes, a Vietnam veteran who suffers from PTSD.
About 30 people attended the Leave No Veterans Behind Convoy in Topeka. The group also traveled to Manhattan and Leavenworth.
Boyda and Ryun are campaigning for the 2nd District seat, which includes west Lawrence.
Boyda presented information during a news conference saying that government compensation for PTSD was declining and that almost 10 percent of Vietnam veterans suffer from the disorder.
Ryun's chief of staff, Mark Kelly, released a statement Saturday titled "Veterans Funding that Jim Ryun supported." The statement mentioned his support for $41.4 billion in total mandatory veterans benefits and $25.4 billion for veterans medical care, which were both 11 percent increases from the previous year, for fiscal year 2007.
"Since 2001, the veterans medical care budget has increased by 69 percent; Jim Ryun voted for an amendment to the fiscal year 2007 Budget Act that increases veterans funding by $795 million every year for the next five years," the statement said.
Kelly's statement also emphasized that Ryun voted for the Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2007, which would block the defense department's proposed Tricare insurance fee increases for military retirees.
Participants in Saturday's convoy said it's also about being patriotic.
"I think we need to think about being Americans first and voting to get our country straightened out instead of letting it go on like it is," King said.