Leave No Veteran Behind
American Veterans Vote, Inc.
May 24, 2022
From The CEO
LTG (Ret) Bob Wood, CEO AVV
Remembering Our Responsibilities to the Fallen

In the closing scene of “Saving Private Ryan,” Tom Hanks’ character, surrounded by the fallen in the cemetery at Normandy, asks his wife to reassure him. “Was I a good man?” “Did I live a good life?” Puzzled, she says, “Yes.” It was no puzzle to this old Soldier. These were answers he clearly hoped to hear, needed to hear, as he stood amidst the graves of his fallen compatriots.

Memorial Day, 2022 – a day to honor those who died in war to preserve our American freedoms. Can there be a more somber, but more meaningful day in our national calendar of civic holidays? While in the popular mind of our culture it serves as the unofficial beginning of summer, Memorial Day likely brings quiet reflection by Veterans of those men and women they remember who made the ultimate sacrifice.  
Honoring Those Who Served
Memorial Day
May is the month in which the U.S. honors its soldier-sons and -daughters. It has been “Military Appreciation Month” since 1999. But, more poignantly, the last Monday in May – Memorial Day - has been dedicated since 1868 to the commemoration of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
For veterans, the military is a tangible, living connection to our noble past. Those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were trained and led by the veterans of Lebanon, Somalia, and Grenada, who were trained and led by the veterans of Vietnam and Korea, who served under the WWII veterans, and so forth all the way back to the very beginning of our Republic. Our heritage ties us to those who survived the first winter at Valley Forge, the audacious U.S. Navy raids in the Bahamas and Whitehead, and the victory at Yorktown. We are one continuous line.
Parade Instructions
Memorial Day Parade - Come Walk Alongside or Ride the AVV Float

AVV will have a professional float in the parade, and we invite members to walk alongside or ride on the float.

The Memorial Day Parade - the largest in the nation - will take place on May 30 from 2pm to 5pm along Constitution Ave NW and will be televised.
Rally at the float located east of the Smithsonian Institution at the corner of Seventh and Jefferson Drive SW NLT 1300. To reserve one of the 12 seats on the float, click here. If due to health reasons a seat on the float is desired, please specify as such in your RSVP for priority. For those of us who will walk, the route is one mile and will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Please wear your AVV shirt and your veteran's hat.
A Veteran's Voice
What Memorial Day Means To Me
On this day every year, I am reminded of all those service members who came before me and gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of this great nation of ours. One of those in particular, has become near and dear to my heart – a man named John Joseph O’Donnell, PFC, USA. He was a man I never knew. I found him while searching for my grandfather of the same name. They were both from Pennsylvania and died in 1943.
My mother barely knew her father as he died when she was only 5 years old. I don’t know much about him other than he died in 1943 like this man of the same name who died a hero in a war far away from here. At least it seemed far away from here when I was a child.
Virginia Congressional Updates
Norfolk, VA
Third District
Bobby Scott is the incumbent and Democrat candidate. He has no military service. Currently there are two Republican candidates who will be competing in the June 21st Republican primary. They are Theodore Engquist, who has no military service, and Terry Namkung, who served over 21 years in the Air Force.
Fourth District
Ashton Donald McEachin is the incumbent and Democrat candidate. He has no military service but was the son of an Army veteran. He will face Republic candidate Leon Benjamin Sr., who served in the Navy from 1986 to 1994.
Richmond, VA
Appomattox, VA
Fifth District
Bob Good is the incumbent and advanced in the Republican convention on May 21. He has no military service. The Democrat candidate is Joshua Throneburg who also has no military service.
Sixth District
Benjamin Cline is the incumbent and one of two Republican candidates who will compete in the Republican convention on June 21. He has no military service. Merritt Hale served in the Navy 2016-2020 and is the other Republican running.
Harrisonburg, VA
Alexandria, VA
Eighth District
Don Byer is the incumbent and one of the Democrat candidates. He has no military service. He will face-off against Democrat challenger Victoria Virashingh in the Democrat primary on June 21. Karina Lipsman advanced in the Republican convention and is the Republican candidate. She has no military service.
Ninth District
Morgan Griffith is the incumbent and Republican candidate. He has no military service. There are no Democrat challengers at this time.
Bristol, VA
Manassas, VA
Tenth District
Wendy Wexton is the incumbent and Democrat candidate. She has no military service. Hung Cao - a retired US Navy Special Operations Officer and graduate of the US Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School, advanced in the Republican primary and is now the Republican candidate.
Eleventh District
Jim Myles won the Republican Firehouse primary on May 7th. He is an Air Force veteran having served as a pilot and flight instructor. He'll be facing the Democrat incumbent Gerry Connolly, who has no military service.
Fairfax Courthouse
Preparing For The Mid-Terms
What Guides Your Voting?
Just after the 2020 election, a friend confided she voted for the alternative because she “just couldn’t vote for him,” even though she was of the same party affiliation. “Couldn’t you separate the policies from the man, I asked?” No was her answer at the time, but now she has buyer’s remorse.
As a poll watcher during the Virginia gubernatorial election last year, I watched voters refer to their party’s sample ballot to guide their vote. Without the sample ballot, I doubt they had any knowledge of the candidates or their positions.  

More recently during an Uber ride, the driver complained to my wife how expensive gas was and then went on a tirade of how badly things were going for the country. He said he wouldn’t have voted for who he did, except that “it was his turn to be president.” 
Vote, Volunteer, Run
Election day is November 8 and early voting is September 23 through November 5. Are you ready?

This is your opportunity to scrutinize candidates, weigh their potential effect on the nation, and then decide whether to vote them out or give them consent to govern. 
However, if you mismanage your voter registration in Virginia, you'll likely be restricted to casting a provisional ballot only. Then, the local electoral board will decide whether your vote is counted. Is that what you want?

Register here or check that your registration is up to date:  Registration - Virginia Department of Elections

Know which congressional district you’re in and familiarize yourself with the candidates. Check here by your zip code: | house.gov

Know where to vote. Find your registrar’s office for early voting here: Local Contact Information (virginia.gov)

For election day, find your polling place here: Polling Place Lookup - Virginia Department of Elections

Getting deployed and need to vote by absentee ballot? The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is October 28. Apply here: Citizen Portal - Virginia Department of Elections
As we approach the mid-terms, the time to volunteer is upon us. AVV is seeking volunteers for:

  • Social Media: Create and manage AVV on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other platforms (multiple positions available)

  • Operations and Plans: Event Coordinator, Calendar Manager, Administrative Assistant

  • Liaison: Campaign Coordinator; Field Force Organizer

  • Finance: Accountant, Membership Coordinator, Data Entry Specialist
  • Research Coordinator

  • Data Analyst
Janae Benest and Bob Wood with Governor Youngkin at the Virginia Federation of Republican Women convention. Governor Youngkin thanked AVV for their essential and important work.
Some critics say that our form of government needs to change, but more likely, the root cause of our problems is the people we elect to govern.  

As veterans we already have a track record of leadership, discipline, perseverance, and love of country. All levels of government need people like us if our country is to endure. Not convinced? Look around.
But if you can't run...
Be an engaged member of the electorate. Without any input from you, lawmakers could follow party or fringe agendas instead of the wishes of their constituency.

As the election approaches, now is a good time to let your congressmen know you're scrutinizing how they've governed - ask them what they've done to earn your vote.
Getting To Know You
Please take a minute to complete this short survey. Answering the questions will help AVV get to know Virginia veterans and mission partners.

Simply scan the QR code with your smartphone's camera or QR reader.
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.
Veterans and Civilian Mission Partners...Join Us!
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