ROCKPORT - Known for its power generation and its place in American history, Rockport, Indiana, is where our Voice of the Voter tour ended up Tuesday. People may not have known it then, but what happened long ago in Rockport would forever change the course of American history.
President Abraham Lincoln launched a flatboat from Rockport en route to New Orleans where he saw slavery for the very first time. Later, as president, Lincoln would go on to change the course of history forever by abolishing slavery.
In a city with such rich history, opinions can be found around ever turn.
DuWayne Keenan is a veteran who feels soldiers returning from active duty should have an easier time finding a job stateside. He adds, currently, too many of our brave soldiers are returning with little or inadequate transitional assistance.
He says, "The veterans should get all the benefits that they can when they come back. We're asking them to go over there and put their lives on the line. We don't ask that of anybody else. We don't ask that of politicians."
Keenan and his wife are retired and fear what may happen to social security and other health-related programs and services.
"People on Social Security, for the most part, have worked all their lives and have paid in to it. Social Security and Medicare is not an entitlement. They've paid for that."
Down the road at Rockport Pharmacy, owner Bruce Faulkenberg sees the pain and fear many elderly people are going through right now.
He says, "As a small, community pharmacy in a very rural area, we get to know people very well. We know their personal lives, we talk with them about their problems and we deal with them, sometimes, from a counseling perspective."
And, while he's not obligated to, Faulkenberg tells me he tries to provide financial assistance for those who can't afford their medications.
"We have charge accounts here that a lot of pharmacies don't anymore. If you can pay a little bit and pay a little each month, it's that kind of thing."
Some inside and outside of the Beltway say, if programs such as Social Security and Medicare aren't overhauled soon, our children and our childrens' children stand to suffer the consequences down the road.
"The spending and where it's all going and how that's all going to end up. Are we going to end up on a fiscal cliff sometime? See our savings and our retirement down the drain financially because of that? That's a big concern which affects my children and my grandchildren."
Early in the life of our nation, a soon-to-be president set out on the river and ended up setting slaves free: forever changing race and freedom in America.
Today, the country faces new challenges and new wars. But voters here in Spencer County say history will judge us by what we do now for the safety, security and health of our nation.