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No branch makes babies like Army

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2003

When it comes to love, the Army leads the way.

According to the Pentagon, about 90,000 babies are born to U.S. military families each year.

The numbers break down like this: Army, 40 percent; Air Force, 25 percent; Navy, 24 percent; and Marine Corps, 11 percent.

California, Texas and Virginia report the highest number of military births annually -- more than 7,000 each. Nearly 10 percent of military births occur outside the United States.

With the growing number of women in active duty and the possibility of exposure to something hazardous, the military tracks these numbers to keep an eye on the health of military babies.

The good news, says the Pentagon, the babies are just as healthy as the babies born in the civilian world.

From reading budgets to leading Indiana

White House budget director Mitch Daniels, known for challenging Congress' pork barrel spending, has been spending his weekends on the rubber chicken banquet circuit in his home state of Indiana.

His friends say that Daniels is testing the waters for a run for governor in 2004.

Daniels is a former Eli Lilly & Co. executive, served as former President Ronald Reagan's political director and is a protege of Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Indiana has not had a Republican governor since 1989.

Lieberman champions military dogs

The run for the presidency is already going to the dogs. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., is preparing legislation honoring the military pooch.

His resolution is similar to one introduced in the House by Robin Hayes, R-N.C.

By siding with dog lovers, Lieberman is sure to get a solid boost among the 36 percent or so of Americans who own dogs, a substantial number of whom are in New Hampshire, Iowa and other early primary and caucus states.

Lieberman is also asking for a "National War Dog Memorial" in Washington.

That's where he may get bitten.

Some folks have had it up to here with memorials on the Mall.

-- Times staff writers Paul de la Garza and Sara Fritz contributed to this report.

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