“PHILADELPHIA — Bryan Lentz, toting an Army-issue duffel bag, slips into the booth.

Over the din of a bustling downtown coffee shop, the 41-year-old infantry officer and lawyer leans across the table, and outlines his latest mission.

”You either have to buy into the rhetoric or stand up. I am standing up.”

Lentz, who as a major in the 82d Airborne helped to rebuild the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, is running for Congress. He is one of at least nine veterans vying to become the first soldiers of the post-9/11 military to be elected to the House of Representatives, according to party leaders.

They say their experience makes them well-suited to help successfully extricate the United States from Iraq and to more effectively fight the war on terrorism, which they fear is being lost in the Muslim world’s court of public opinion.

Eight of the nine are running as Democrats. At least three are lawyers. Most went to the front lines from the Reserves or the National Guard. Some have been recruited for office by party leaders; others say they are trying to get the national parties to pay attention to them.

But they are all running on their wartime experience and against the prevailing political hierarchy in Washington — both Republican and Democrat.”-from the story last fall in The Boston Globe. Majority Report Radio and Daily Kos are now featuring these candidates in an on-going series of posts and shows, using the tag-line, “Back from Front Lines and Headed to Congress.”

Why shouldn’t the Dems put these people front and center in this year’s battle for Congress?

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