American Veterans Vote

Leave No Veteran Behind


February 6, 2023

From the CEO

Continue the Mission, Indeed

November elections didn’t achieve all we hoped, but AVV efforts did achieve notable Veteran turnout, and, in the 2nd CD, help elect Jen Kiggans - Navy Veteran, Pilot, Nurse, Military Spouse, former Virginia Senator, and now U.S. Congresswoman!!


American Veterans Vote has finished its round of after-action reviews, aligned our objectives for 2023, and set a strong course to retain the Virginia House of Delegates and win back the Virginia Senate. In 2023, 140 elections (100 HD, 40 SD) demand reorganization of our formation. Top-down support and direction must add new regional teams (see following article) to enable broader contact with our rapidly expanding membership. 


AVV Intent for 2023 is clear:


Using data analytics, efficient action, and social and political teaming, regional teams will engage, motivate, and assist all Veterans to vote by all permissible means to help elect those candidates who support AVV goals and objectives.


Let me explain further: Our data analytics and efficient action target those populations of Veteran voters who, by their votes, can swing close district elections. We won’t waste our energy (or yours) chasing electorates beyond Veterans. 720K+ Veterans have the mass to be decisive. Every Veteran, Every Vote.


By Social and Political teaming, we will magnify our efforts through our Veteran network and other voter networks. There isn’t time to battle over “credit” or “terrain.” We must win elections, not simply arguments.


We will engage, motivate, and assist Veterans. A reminder may be all that’s required, but more emphasis may be needed.  As bad as any day may be or how hard the task, most of us have seen harder times. We served to protect the right to vote. That’s why it’s called Service, not Saturday.


“By all permissible means…” Election law changed in Virginia and, like it or not, extended early voting is here to stay, at least until future legislation restores reasonable balance to the election cycle. What’s happening? 

·       Early voting now begins 45 days before normal Election Day

·       No-excuse Absentee voting is now implemented – Mail in ballot on request

·       Early voting now includes voting on Sunday – helps “Souls to the polls”

·       Permanent absentee list – Voters can sign up to automatically receive a mail ballot for all future elections

·       First time voters no longer must cast their initial vote in person – register by mail, vote by mail

The result: Mail in Absentee votes plus “in person” early votes now account for just over 40% of the vote in recent elections and this percentage is growing fast. 


This, as the final candidate slate isn’t known until the close of primaries as late as August! With early voting beginning in late September, little time remains for debates, neighborhood canvassing, meet ups, public gatherings, and other opportunities to “get to know” the candidates and their views. Election outcomes, because of widespread early and absentee voting, may soon be determined well before “normal” candidate activities in the Fall and the November election day itself. (see - Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman) 


AVV is committed to protecting the sanctity and power of Veteran votes. Every Veteran, Every Vote demands new TTP – yes, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. Our regional teams are key. Veteran voters must be informed to be truly powerful. And Veteran voters must commit to vote, by all means. This could well be our animating contest for freedom as Samuel Adams said long ago:

“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council… Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you: and may posterity forget the ye were our country men.”

-Samuel Adams in speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776.


Veterans Forward

Every Veteran, Every Vote!


Bob Wood

CEO, American Veterans Vote

LTG (R), US Army


Inspiration Corner

Our Valley Forge


Dr. COL (R) Michael B. "Yama' Hoyes

"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."

- Proverbs 29:25.

Above my desk in my home office, I have a copy of a painting depicting General George Washington at a time of his immense prayer.

“The Prayer at Valley Forge” by Arnold Friberg calls to mind a few things. First the reality of the time was that Washington’s troops were suffering from the severe winter, lacking proper clothing, food and even blankets. Disease was rampant. Second, Washington went to the woods alone, and on his knees he prayed. He knew in Whom the fate of the country resided, and without fanfare Washington prayed. Third, Washington acted. He did not remain on his knees in the woods waiting for some Divine action, but rather he stepped out in faith.

So too today, we veterans and friends of veterans have the opportunity to perceive the great and seemingly overwhelming foreign and domestic dangers that our nation faces. We too must clearly see our situation, pray to and trust in the One who can resolve our national “snares,” but then we must act, trusting in the Lord. We act through the ballot box. We act by getting involved in the political process. We act by supporting those running for office, or actually running for office ourselves. How do we respond to the “Valley Forge” of our day?


American Veterans Vote NOVA West Coalition Kick Off Meeting – January 28, 2023

With our special guests Hung Cao and Jim Myles and candidates Eddie Garcia and Josh Quill, the AVV regional team for NOVA West held its first meeting at iHop in Chantilly, Virginia. Jeff Fuller led the planning team and the results were terrific – large turnout, spirited engagement, good food! More than 45 people attended to hear post-election thoughts from Hung and Jim and the opening thoughts from new candidates Josh Quill (21 HD) and Eddie Garcia (US Senate).

Eddie Garcia – Candidate, US Senate from Virginia, Army Veteran

Eddie Garcia is certainly starting early. He’s an Army Veteran from a long line of Army Veteran family members. He and his wife Veronica make a strong team. Eddie comes from south Texas and both he and his wife clearly understand immigrant issues and a life of Service to our nation (21 years). Both are proud faith and family conservatives. 

After 6 deployments, Eddie finished his Army career advancing military and Veteran issues on the Hill and developing senior national policy at the Pentagon.

Eddie Garcia making his case to the AVV regional team

He is committed to working early and hard to connect with and understand the needs of traditional and nontraditional Republican voters across all communities. 

Josh Quill – Candidate, 21st House District, Virginia, Marine Veteran

Josh Quill is running for Virginia’s 21st House District. This is one of the most contested seats in the House this year and is a key swing district in Virginia. Josh is a Veteran with 10 years in the USMC. He next worked as a Trump political appointee in the VA as the Chief of Staff for the Director of the Veterans Benefits Administration. While at the VA, Josh became the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He has since also earned two master’s degrees. He is a community leader and active leader in the Prince William County Republican Committee.

Hung Cao offering lessons learned to the NOVA west crowd

Hung Cao – 2022 Candidate, Virginia 10th Congressional District, Navy Veteran

Hung Cao proudly spoke of his race to represent the 10th CD in Virginia. While he didn’t win, Hung “moved the needle” in voter turnout and voting, in fact surpassing numbers for Romney, Trump, and Youngkin. 

He was the 14th largest Republican fundraiser in the House races. But, as he stated, “Mail in ballots killed us.” He encouraged our effort to find new ways to “meet the voters where they are at” and innovate to increase turnout. He has established the Unleash America PAC to help new candidates organize quickly and improve their chances of winning.

Jim Myles – 2022 Candidate, Virginia 11th Congressional District, Air Force Veteran

Jim Myles agreed with Hung Cao on the difficulties of new candidates entering politics for the first time. He was surprised at how little institutional party support was available and had creative ideas about what could help. A group like AVV was an example of ready and able grass roots coalitions which could quickly connect new candidates to broader audiences. He suggested a collective of experienced Virginia politicians and other political activists cooperating early to help new candidates “get out of the gate.” He praised state and local Republican leaders, his small campaign team and those who voted for him and offered no regrets.

Details (Date, Times, Place) for upcoming meetings for other regional teams will be published as soon as they are available. 

The other three regional teams are comprised as follows: Regional

Team Southeast (CD 2 & 3), Regional Team Central (CD 1 & 4), Regional Team NOVA East (CD 7 & 8). 

Expect to meet other Veterans and Veteran Supporters, listen to candidates or special guests, compare thoughts on key issues, and plan for upcoming activities. Guests are welcome.  

Jeff Fuller from AVV’s NOVA west team explaining the mission …. WIN!

Legislative Update

Virginia General Assembly


The Virginia General Assembly and the 2023 Regular Legislative Session continues. Shortly, “Crossover” occurs when both the House of Delegates and the Senate exchange proposed legislation for the other chamber’s consideration. There were several outcomes that affect Veterans in this first portion of the session:


Legislative Update (note - the General Assembly continues in session and final resolution of proposed legislation remains pending)


1.    Senate Joint Resolution 231: Expands the current tax exemption for real property available to the surviving spouses of soldiers killed in action to the surviving spouses of soldiers who died in the line of duty with a Line of Duty determination from the U.S. Department of Defense; Joint Resolution passed in the General Assembly.


2.    Senate Bill 924: The Commonwealth shall pay the burial fees for any deceased spouse of a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces buried at a veterans’ cemetery operated by the Department of Veterans Services regardless of whether such spouse's death precedes or succeeds the death of the member or veteran; passed the Senate.


3.    Senate Bill 1356: The Virginia Promise to Veterans Act, directs each public institution of higher education in Virginia to provide guaranteed acceptance of any eligible veteran applicant who served in Virginia and who meets admission requirements to enroll as an undergraduate; failed to pass in the Senate due to committee action. 


4.    Senate Bill 1372: Provides for the issuance of special Virginia license plates for Women Veterans; passed in the Senate.


5.    House Bill 1436: Seeks to remove the age restrictions on federal military pension tax relief; passed in the House of Delegate but supportive companion bills offered in the Senate failed to advance.

Contact Your Elected Official

While officials are supposed to represent the interests and concerns of the people who elected them, opinion polls suggest a disconnect between citizens and their law makers. 

Constituents can keep elected officials tethered to them through engagement - both to criticize and to encourage. Lacking any direction from constituents, legislators may instead follow loud fringe voices, or a detrimental party agenda.

Speak up if you're unhappy with your elected officials' decisions or the direction of the country. They're supposed to work for you!

The websites below are a great place to start for a dialogue with your elected official:


·        For Virginia General Assembly members:

·        For the U.S. House of Representatives:

·        For the U.S. Senate:

These sites operate similarly – enter your address or zip code, and your elected official is revealed, usually with a link to their website. At the website, click on the “contact” link where you’ll fill out a contact form - name, address, phone number, etc. Then there’ll be a space for you to state your message, and specify whether you want a response to your concerns. You’ll also find links nearby to subscribe to the officeholder’s newsletters and e-mail updates.


    Some tips for contacting your lawmaker via their website:


·        Draft your message ahead of time and then copy and paste it into the space allotted at the website.

·        Keep your message concise, fact-based, professional, and snark-free.

·        Always request a response. This ensures that someone in the office read your message.

·        Subscribe to the newsletters and e-mail updates. Use these to keep apprised of each official’s political priorities and activities, and to provide critical or favorable feedback. 

The telephone is another option and is especially useful when a vote is upcoming for your elected official. Call your legislator’s office, identify yourself as a constituent, and state to the aide or staff member that you want it registered that in your opinion the legislator should do X or Y. You can find your legislators’ phone numbers via the websites listed above.


In either case – website or telephone, legislator staff members are supposed to track the number of messages they receive on various topics, and these can help sway the thinking of lawmakers.

American Veterans Vote, Inc. (AVV) is a volunteer team of Veterans and Civilian Mission Partners who led the Veteran Coalition for Glenn Youngkin. We are a 527 Political Action Committee with a nationally-focused mission to promote the political voice of Veterans and mission partners in support of our three key objectives:

  • Support of Veterans and their Families,
  • Defense of the Constitution, and
  • Promote Our Nation’s Security.

AVV’s goal is to help Veterans maximize their political voice by supporting Veterans’ ability to Vote, Volunteer and Run for Public Office.

"Every Veteran, Every Vote."

We don't speak FOR Veterans... we speak AS Veterans.

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