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Voices Behind The Vote: Soldier Thinks Global

Marisa Demarco / KUNM
Joshua Ramirez, a senior at the University of New Mexico, will be the first man in his family to graduate college.

For many voters, choosing who should be commander in chief includes weighing how the United States will relate to the rest of the world. KUNM hung out in the classroom with a soldier who’s also a college student at the University of New Mexico. Joshua Ramirez is voting for the first time in 2016 because foreign affairs and national security are his top concerns.

"I’ve received a lot of flack from my peers for not voting in the past," Ramirez said. "I’ve always been told if you don’t vote then you don’t have a right to say anything or complain afterwards."

Ramirez registered as a Republican but isn't voting for Donald Trump. He's torn between Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Democrat Hillary Clinton. "I like her experience," he said. "I like that she has great relations with a lot of our foreign allies, and they already know her."

He's a third-generation soldier who served five years active-duty in the Army. And until October of next year, the Army reserves the right to call him to deploy again. "My biggest thing would be foreign policy," he said. "We have a lot of things going on around the world right now that affect us. Terrorism is No. 1 for me. Being someone who worked in a defensive job while I was active-duty in the Army, I’m very concerned about the United States’ safety. "

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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