LUMBERTON — John Atkinson, a retired U.S. Army major general, will serve as Robeson County’s local coordinator for the Veterans for Romney campaign.
Atkinson, a 36-year Army veteran, said in a statement that he believes the Republican ticket will best serve the interest of the military, active and retired.
“Our nation, since the all volunteer force was established, has a strong professional military, guard and reserve,” he said in a statement. “If we break our promises to the few who do serve we will hollow out our military. Recruiting for the volunteer force could become very difficult. Do we want a return of the draft?
“I believe that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will best represent the serving military, retirees and veterans. I think the Romney/Ryan ticket will also be more concerned in providing this nation with a strong military force to defend our national security interest at home and abroad. They will support this force and honor the obligations that this country has made to our veterans, obligations that were earned through sacrifice at home and abroad.”
Atkinson is a former assistant vice president for Educational Services at Robeson Community College. He obtained his undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and earned a graduate degree from East Carolina University.
Atkinson served in Vietnam, earning the Distinguished Service Medal as well as many other commendations. He presently is assigned with the Army Reserve National Guard as deputy commanding general (Reserve Component), major general, First United States Army, North.
Former Robeson County GOP Chairman Burt Benson, who attended The Citadel with the general, said in a statement that Atkinson is “a patriot who again is stepping forward to serve his country.”
Phillip Stephens, Robeson County’s current GOP leader, also praised Atkinson’s leadership abilities.
“We are honored to have Maj. Gen. Atkinson leading the Veterans for Romney component of the local campaign.” he said in a statement. “He clearly is a man of character and a tremendous leader. I can tell you the Romney campaign was excited to have him on the team and we are fortunate to have him in Robeson County.”