But a mere two hours later, after a speech at a Springfield Veterans of Foreign Wars post, McCaskill was approached by another Army veteran. Chris Boyajian, a 40-year-old Iraqi War veteran, pleaded for help trying to get medical benefits and military honors that he believed he was due. McCaskill replied: "We can help you."
On the way out of the VFW post, McCaskill added her signature to a large appreciation poster for returning troops. She wrote: "I'm proud to have your back."
McCaskill has no illusions about winning over a majority of rural Missouri voters. Her goal is merely to narrow the margin there while picking up strong support in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. Six years ago, for example, McCaskill carried less than 43 percent of the vote in Springfield's home county and less than 37 percent in Lebanon's home county.
As she arrived Thursday in Lebanon, McCaskill received a hug and encouragement from Betty Donnelly, 86, a longtime friend of her mother's.
"Her mother told her a long time ago that you have to get out in the little towns — you have to work the people," Donnelly said.
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