American Veterans Vote


May 3, 2023

Our Strategic Goals

  Support Veterans and their Families

  Defend our Constitution as Written and Amended

  Protect the Nation at Home and Abroad 

“There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: "A republic, if you can keep it." The brevity of that response should not cause us to under-value its essential meaning: democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people; they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their continued good health.”

Dr. Richard Beeman, Professor of history and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania.

From the CEO

Our Republic

Is Not Guaranteed

I admit I’m nervous and concerned as I consider this warning voiced so long ago. And that’s not normal for me as a proud Soldier whose perspectives and optimism about this country were built over many years deployed with America’s best. American astronauts looked back at earth from the moon and remarked how fragile it looked. While not from space, I’ve looked at our nation from years abroad and can only remark on how amazing this nation truly is. The industry and decency of its people, the opportunities of this land, the quality of my fellow Service Members, and the privilege to serve our Constitution have always inspired me.  

Bob Wood

CEO, American Veterans Vote

LTG (R), US Army

"Inaction is not an option, particularly for Veterans who are problem solvers by nature."

However, as Ben Franklin (and Ronald Reagan!) warned, our republic and its inherent health are not guaranteed. Sadly, today we the people seem to be too distracted and conflicted to notice our blessings. Constructive dialog seems in short supply. Politics seems more poisonous every day. And the trivial seems to replace issues central to the health of our economy, government, and security. All is magnified and distorted by media, artificial intelligence, and our own silos of information.

But, as good Professor Beeman mentions above, “Democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people; they are also absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people for their continued good health.” Inaction is not an option, particularly for Veterans who are problem solvers by nature. In the nation, there are over 16M Veterans. In Virginia, there are over 710K Veterans. There is important work to do!

First, we must work to elect those who display real wisdom and understand the risks at hand and the urgent need for action. Such wisdom is evident in a person’s breadth of experience, appreciation of different perspectives, thoughtful deliberation, and decisiveness in their actions. Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” There are too many on the political landscape who seem wrapped in this small bundle. China, the economy, our security, families, our jobs, our schools, our kids…please, wake up!

Next, we must acknowledge that our own vote may not be enough to cause all the change needed. Our elected representatives set the laws and legal framework while our courts “call the balls and strikes” within that framework. But its clearer every day, that our private and professional lives are bound in the “small print” of legislation, our deployments continue without serious debate in Congress, and our health choices don’t really “follow the science.” Worse, an unelected federal bureaucracy implements these laws in regulations too far removed from clear legal authority.  Who voted for the mandates coming every day from faceless agencies dictating which businesses remain open, which cars we can drive, which appliances and fuels we can use, which subjects are taught to our children – on and on. What to do?

As ever, our Constitution opens the way. I prefer the term Constitutional Republic over Democratic Republic – apologies to the good professor. The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This amendment continues to position the States as principal checks to Federal power and overreach. There is no need to overstate this vital point. There is a need to emphasize the vital importance of this year’s election of all 140 Virginia House and Senate representatives. Voting local empowers our Constitutional Republic.

American Veterans Vote is organizing the support structure, the educational products, the data lists, and its expanding membership to wield Every Veteran, Every Vote to win the seats necessary to GET THE WORK DONE. Expect a Call To Action. Please consider DONATING and JOINING our effort to put Veterans front and center in voter turnout, sign up for absentee ballots, and early voting. We got this.

Veterans Forward

Bob Wood

Inspiration Corner


COL (R) Michael B. "Yama" Hoyes

Vigilance And Strength

While reading “The Founders’ Bible” I noted an article discussing freedom vs liberty that I thought quite interesting to ponder. With Memorial Day coming up, vigilance and strength are attributes of those we remember, which leads to the question of... vigilance and strength against what?


One might assume that the words, freedom and liberty mean the same thing, however the authors of The Founders’ Bible propose a difference, and I believe it has merit. It is a difference the Founders were aware of and were willing to fight and perhaps die for. The Founders included liberty as one of the three characteristics, second only to life that is endowed by the Creator! Liberty is a part of you, like your personality, and it cannot be taken away by man or government.

On the other hand, the Founders saw freedom as “the license to do as one wants, the permission to do as you please.” Wait a minute! Who is it that gives this permission? And if a person or entity (government) gives the permission to be free, then they can also take it away. So, we have reminders like the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell and others. They remind us that we, as part of creation have been granted liberty by the One who created everything, including us! (As an aside, we speak of Pres Lincoln’s efforts as freeing the slaves, not providing liberty to the slaves).


We must continue to fight for our liberty and not grow weary in our efforts to have the government respect the boundaries of what it can and cannot do. We must have vigilance and strength.

Let our actions be as quoted in 2Timothy4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 

A Veteran's Perspective


Bob Merkl

The Declaration of Independence opens with a stirring statement of purpose - “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”

Our Constitution details the roles and responsibilities of our government flowing from this purpose. Service members, while on active duty, are reminded frequently that they have sworn an oath to support, not an individual or a political narrative, but the Constitution. The resulting detachment from our political process while on active duty often results in a form of political complacency. In a recent Institute for Veterans and Military Families poll, 71% of active-duty respondents believed it was their civic duty to vote, yet only 57% did so on a consistent basis. 


This complacency often turns to apathy by the time these individuals leave active duty and become veterans. More than 18 million living Americans have served in the military. Research published in the Fulcrum Newsletter in November 2021 found that less than 75% of Veterans under the age of 50 actually voted in the 2020 presidential election and that over 20% of the Veterans in this population didn’t even bother to register to vote!


If our most cherished rights can only be safeguarded by a government that is both responsive to, and accountable to, its citizens – how do we explain this large and disturbing number of disengaged voters?


In relationships between individuals, a lack of trust combined with the absence of accountability results in divorce – either physically or emotionally. And what is true in the relationships between individuals is equally true in the relationship between citizens and their government. 

When clearly partisan political narratives are advanced unchecked by elected, accountable authorities and counter narratives are repressed and de-platformed, trust in our institutions erode.


The lack of accountability from our elected and other senior government officials has only increased in recent years. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Let the facts be submitted to a candid world.” Four examples:


1.     Four successive Presidents launched us into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but never went to Congress to make the case for such wars. “Emergency” authorizations were stretched to enable years of evolving conflicts. The power of Congress to deliberate the case for war and act under Article 1 of the Constitution was never exercised. Effectively, their American constituents were never consulted. And after disasters and blunders in both wars, our country seems to again be following a similar path into even more deadly conflicts. No one in elected office can be held accountable.

2.     The Presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton used a foreign third party to fabricate derogatory information about her opponent and got that information into the hands of the FBI. They, in turn, used it to knowingly lie to the FISA Court to get a judicial writ to direct the most powerful foreign intelligence collection tools in the U.S. against her political opponent. When these facts were revealed, no one was ever held accountable.

3.     Against the reality of a humanitarian disaster and rampant drug and a human smuggling crisis on the US southern border, the DHS director repeatedly claims this border is secure and there is no crisis. He continues in his job.

4.     Post pandemic examinations of COVID19 public health actions now show suppression of dissenting academic and medical viewpoints limited therapies, extended economic and educational impacts, and unnecessarily increased the harm of COVID 19 to students, workers, and communities. No one has yet been held accountable.


Unfortunately, such instances where accountability remains lacking are not isolated examples. Example after example damage the trust between the people and their government. As a result, too many Americans have emotionally divorced from their government – a government they believe is more concerned with gaining or maintaining political power than doing what is right for America. This emotional divorce manifests itself most frequently in the form of political apathy.


And it is exactly this political apathy that is the greatest danger to our democracy. We are not guaranteed happiness – it must be pursued and earned to be appreciated. And we are not guaranteed our liberty – it must be safeguarded and defended from one generation to the next. Veterans can’t remain on the sidelines – shake off the apathy. Every Veteran, Every Vote. IT MATTERS, NOW MORE THAN EVER!

I Say Again

Newsletter Key Takeaways

  • Republics are dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people

  • Our republic is in a precarious situation and is not guaranteed

  • Local voting empowers our Constitutional Republic to limit federal overreach

  • Inaction is not an option - Veteran voters have the numbers to force change through the ballot box

  • Fight political apathy; Veterans must be front and center in voter turnout, absentee ballot sign-ups, and early voting

The Decisive Edge - Early and Absentee Voting

Use the following QR codes to:

  • Register to vote

  • Request an absentee ballot

  • Track your ballot

It's a fact...early mail-in voters decide the elections. Review the tables below and see for yourself.

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American Veterans Vote, Inc. (AVV) is a volunteer team of Veterans and Veteran supporters 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 strategic goals:

  • 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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