A soldier from central Iowa was in the national spotlight last night as he appeared on CNN and then on stage with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Army Corporal Jesse Thorsen of West Des Moines said he has served in Afghanistan and will be returning there soon.

Paul, who finished third in the Iowa Caucuses, called the 28-year-old Thorsen to the stage as Paul addressed his supporters last night in Ankeny.

“I’m flabbergasted right now. This is an incredible moment for me. It’s like meeting a rock star,” Thorsen said as he shook Paul’s hand. “But, you know what? We’re going to go to New Hampshire, we’re all going to get involved, we’re going to keep getting online and talking to people. We’re all going to make sure this man is the next President of the United States.”

Paul is opposed to foreign military intervention and has called for the closure of overseas military bases. Thorsen, in an interview with Radio Iowa, claimed it’s a position many military members support. “He want to bring the troops home from war. I’ve served 10 years now and all 10 years we’ve been at war,” Thorsen said.

“He wants to bring us home and I think that’s excellent.” Thorsen, dressed in uniform, was being interviewed live on CNN earlier in the evening, but the interview was interrupted by “technical issues.” Thorsen remained in uniform as he was called to the stage by Paul.

Military protocol states soldiers are not to appear at any kind of political forum in uniform and speak on behalf of a candidate.