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  [NC-03] Outside Camp Lejeune, voters anguish over Iraq war
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Last EditedArmyDem  May 02, 2008 10:42am
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News DateFriday, May 2, 2008 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy Barbara Barrett | McClatchy Newspapers
Posted on Friday, May 2, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — After five years of war in Iraq, the rhythm of troop deployments and homecomings in this military community has evolved into a steady pulse.

With every unit that leaves nearby Camp Lejeune, far-flung families convene to wish loved ones Godspeed. Every week, young Marines roll into town to have their heads shorn. War has become familiar, the way an arthritic ache becomes familiar to its sufferer.

"You'd think people would be talking about it all the time," said Terrence Bannerman, 33, whose Platinum Cuts opens early Tuesday mornings for the Marines tumbling out of Greyhound buses. "But they're accustomed."

As Onslow County prepares to vote in Tuesday's primary, many residents are wrestling with the tension between their support for the troops and frustration with the war itself. The war issue has propelled a candidate trying to unseat seven-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter Jones.

Jones, a Farmville Republican, angered his GOP base when he flipped on the war in Iraq, first voting to authorize it, then deciding he could no longer accept it. A former supporter, Joe McLaughlin, has taken him on, saying Jones doesn't represent North Carolina's values.

But like Jones, others have changed their minds. At Platinum Cuts, Bannerman and his business partner, Omar McAllister, have heard opinions evolve in recent years. Over time, more clients walk in on prosthetics, or with burned faces, or telling of the breakdowns they suffered in the dust of Iraq.
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