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Ben Carson speaks to veterans in Myrtle Beach

Dr. Ben Carson, a Republican presidential candidate visited Georgetown, S.C., speaking to supporters at the Winyah Auditorium before visiting Plantersville Elementary School. The Georgetown County Federation of Republican Women and the Georgetown County Republican Party hosted the event.
Dr. Ben Carson, a Republican presidential candidate visited Georgetown, S.C., speaking to supporters at the Winyah Auditorium before visiting Plantersville Elementary School. The Georgetown County Federation of Republican Women and the Georgetown County Republican Party hosted the event. By Jason Lee jlee@thesunnews.com

Presidential candidate Ben Carson returned to Myrtle Beach Monday to speak at a Memorial Day ceremony following the veterans march on Ocean Boulevard.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, is one of many candidates vying for the Republican nomination. He visited Georgetown earlier this year and spoke at the S.C. Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach.

During his brief remarks at the former Pavilion site, Carson argued that the country needs a stronger military.

“One of the things that’s so important for our future is that we get the military right,” he said. “Right now, our country is a target of radical jihadists who want to destroy us and they want to destroy our way of life. And at the same time, we’re allowing our military to deteriorate.”

Carson said much of the military’s equipment is in disrepair. He also voiced concern about the number of veterans committing suicide and advocated for a support program that would assist veterans throughout their military career and provide them with an easier transition into civilian life.

As for the medical services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, he’s not a fan.

“We don’t need them to go to veterans hospitals,” he said. “They should all have health savings accounts.”

Most of Carson’s comments were familiar talking points. He concluded his message by telling a story about the courage of American servicemen on D-Day 1944.

“The torch of freedom is now in our hands,” he said. “And the question is, are we willing to stand up for what we believe in or will we let their sacrifice go? I say no. It’s time for us to stand up for America.”

Contact CHARLES D. PERRY at 626-0218 or on Twitter @TSN_CharlesPerr.

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