The President of the United States was worried. Thousands of Americans were fighting a war far from home, an election was approaching, and no one was certain whether those men and women in uniform would be able to even register, let alone vote.
"At a time when these young people are defending our country and its free institutions," he wrote to Congress, "the least we at home can do is to make sure that they are able to enjoy the rights they are being asked to fight to preserve."
The plea was penned by Harry S. Truman in 1952.
And while the sentiment has been echoed many times since, military overseas voting is still conducted essentially as it was during that Korean War-era election: a multi-step process almost entirely reliant on numerous pieces of paper moving through less-than-speedy postal systems.
While virtually everyone involved in the process seems to agree that military people deserve at least equal opportunity when it comes to having their votes counted, indications are that in November 2008 many thousands of service members who try to vote will do so in vain.