Gold medalist Shawn Johnson to lead pledge tonight

By Rod Boshart – Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa has been tabbed to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at today’s 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Officials of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama‘s campaign staff confirmed the Iowa gymnast, who one gold and three silver medals in the 2008 Olympic Games in China, will be on hand to lead delegates in the pledge at Invesco Field in Denver.

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Iraq vet wears boots as tribute to fellow soldiers

By Rod Boshart – Iraqi war veteran Jacob Krapfl, 24, of New Vienna, has paid tribute to fellow U.S. soldiers this week by wearing his combat boots while attending the 2008 Democratic National Convention as an Iowa delegate.

Krapfl said the boots helps remind him of where he’s been and the people he served with during two tours in Iraq that ended in March 2005. “It’s nothing flashy, it’s silent but potent,” he said of his boot tribute.

Krapfl took to the convention floor to announce that Iowa delegates cast their 57 presidential nominating votes – 48 votes for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and nine votes for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

The New Vienna delegate noted that Iowa was “where it all started with Barack Obama.” Before casting Iowa’s votes, Krapfl, a first-time delegate, told a television audience “Back on a cold winter’s night in January, Iowa planted the seeds for a new Field of Dreams for America with Barack Obama’s campaign for change.” Balloting was later suspended and Obama was nominated by acclamation.

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