NPR Staff

When it comes to politics, it's voters' life experiences that count, not just the experiences of the candidates they'll vote for.

What national events have shaped your political views? And how do those similar events play out within and between generations?

NPR's Robert Siegel put those questions to Americans in three different age groups: 25-year-olds, 45-year-olds and 65-year-olds. They are from different parts of the country and across the political spectrum.

While some of Washington's most prominent Republican leaders are still struggling over whether to endorse Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the call to do so last month — as soon as Trump became the likely nominee.

This election has brought a bitter primary season: candidates at each other's throats; a Democratic Party in crisis. But it's nothing new.

Eight years ago, the Democratic Party was recovering after a brutal primary between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Now, the party has found itself in a similar place.

This week on For the Record: Lessons learned from the 2008 Democratic primary, with two political operatives who lived through it.

Donna Engeman enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1981. About two years later, she left after she got pregnant with her first-born, a son called Patrick. She left having achieved the rank of specialist and having found the love of her life, her husband, Army Chief Warrant Officer John W. Engeman.

In addition to Patrick, they had a daughter, Nicole McKenna.

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