In this Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 photo, Nick Popaditch, a congressional candidate for the 53rd district in Southern California and a United States Marine veteran who suffered serious injuries in Iraq, talks about his candidacy in his office in La Mesa, Calif. During the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hundreds of thousands of veterans have come home and laid aside their uniforms. But not all have opted to simply blend back into civilian life. Many have chosen to run for public office. "I was looking at my government and I wasn't happy with it," says the ex-gunnery sergeant. "So rather than complain, I decided to run myself. I thought I could do a better job, and I still feel that way." (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
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