SHOW OF FORCE

Associated Press
Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On the first night of the Democratic convention, American military families were front and center.

Tammy Duckworth, a congressional candidate in Illinois, got a rousing reception when she spoke of losing both legs fighting in Iraq, then rededicating herself to helping fellow veterans.

Warming the stage for Michelle Obama was Elaine Brye, a mother who told of her four children each serving in a different military branch.

The first lady herself, who along with Jill Biden has focused on military families since taking office, spoke during her keynote of a service member blinded in Afghanistan.

"I'd give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do," Mrs. Obama recalled the young man saying.

Both parties are playing heavily for military voters — both those at home and those still serving overseas.

— Josh Lederman — Twitter http://twitter.com/JoshLedermanAP

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EDITOR'S NOTE — Convention Watch shows you the 2012 political conventions through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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