AVV Newsletter – June 2024


call to action

Member Mission Briefing

Veterans and Veteran Supporters Welcome

Saturday, June 22

1:00 – 4:00 pm

American Legion Post 320

8456 Brock Road

Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA 22553

American Veterans Vote

Newsletter June 6, 2024

Our Strategic Goals

From the CEO

Time to Get Off the Fence

Fence sitting hurts!  It may be a decent vantage point, but not much gets done,  and you likely walk away leaving the solution to someone else….and sore.  We get closer by the day to the primary election ( 18 June), early voting (20 Sept), and the general election (5 Nov).  We are just short of the Line of Departure to a summer season of politics with known candidates, clear issues, and even clearer consequences. 

Actions in the assembly area, pre-flight checks, preparations to get underway, getting your act together, or whatever you might call it, it’s time to prepare to win elections.  Each individual voter, or in the case of American Veterans Vote (AVV), each Veteran and Veteran supporter has a role to play.  Each has their own decision to make regarding time, work, family, and other priorities.  All good.  The AVV model suggests a gradient of useful efforts to win at the ballot box – Vote, Volunteer, Lead – all action verbs!

Candidates and campaigns are very busy in the runup to the primaries.  But one thing about primaries is certain.  It’s a binary outcome.  On 19 June, there will be those selected by the voters and those who aren’t. But remarkably, another truth of primaries is very low voter turnouts, in many cases less than 25%.  It’s that initial primary skirmish that sets the stage for the real battle ahead, where anything less than a 65% turnout results in defeat.  In a presidential year, anything less than an 80% turnout is disaster, regardless of party. Necessary action – VOTE.

With the candidates selected and the field winnowed, big money comes aboard, arguments are sharper and more personal, just as the summer saps the energy and efforts of even the most determined campaigns. Incumbents roll out their supporter lists and trumpet their accomplishments.  Challengers shift from internal brawls and focus now on a known opponent.  They are desperate to gain funding, identity, and momentum. Necessary action – VOLUNTEER.

In this phase of post primary campaigning, there is opportunity to gain leverage over the political opponent who assumes too much about the “end game” in September and October.  The funding, identity, and momentum in this stage are built on small but influential steps around networking, exposure, and organizing.  In this new era of prolonged early voting (45 days), early voting signups right now cannot be overemphasized!  This effort begins at home for all AVV members, Veterans, and Veteran supporters. It extends to friends, families, and associates.  So too is the effort to ensure new Veteran voters are registered. Why?  A reminder about the number of Veterans in Virginia helps to explain.  411K Veteran voters are on the voting rolls.  The VA estimates 650+ K Veterans are in the state.  Therefore, 200+ K Veteran voters are on the fence and likely just getting sore.  All the tools needed to register and obtain a ballot for early voting and track your ballot are captured in the QR codes at the bottom of this newsletter.  Veterans are by nature problem solvers.  They are ever prone to step forward, influence, and take the necessary action – LEAD

Momentum is built around a combination of intention, planning, opportunity, and synergy.  The last key element is time.  The more time available to create this synergy, the greater the potential impact on a successful outcome.  The key shortcoming in today’s campaigns is thinking the timeline extends to election day.  Wrong.  The timeline now extends principally to the beginning of early voting.  To leave early or absentee voting out of any plan for election success leads to likely failure.  Hate it or not, only winning elections can ultimately change this reality. Changing minds is a leadership task.  Building momentum for the end game through early voting to election day is a leadership task.  Converting skeptics who promote hopelessness or dismissive disdain is a leadership task. 

In this election cycle, find your role, large or small. Realize that Every Veteran, Every Vote is THE powerful leverage behind the momentum necessary to achieve change through the ballot box. Vote, Volunteer, Lead.  Commit to get off that fence! Don’t be a sore loser.

Veterans Forward!    

Bob Wood

LTG (R), US Army

CEO, American Veterans Vote



Inspiration Corner

COL (R) Michael B. “Yama” Hoyes


count the cost

I want us to reflect on  Memorial Day. Though the specific day has passed for another year, I would call on all of us to COUNT THE COST throughout the year.

Part of the chorus of a Lee Greenwood song states:

And I’m proud to be an American

Where at least I know I’m free

And I won’t forget the men who died

Who gave that right to me…

Each and every time I hear those lyrics, it surely brings tears to my eyes…I think about the example Jesus used when He spoke about the cost of being a disciple. In Luke 14:31, Jesus says:  “suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?”…Jesus says we should COUNT THE COST in advance.

Memorial Day is a time when we COUNT THE COST fellow citizens have already paid for us to live as we do. Perhaps we even think of these words of Jesus, as quoted in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

For me Memorial Day is quite personal as the fellas just seconds behind me–young 30-year-old married fathers–were killed in our combat mission.

Please indulge me with this prayer…Oh Lord, You’ve mentioned aspects of love to us that we cannot fathom. You have provided for us brave men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms. Let us always COUNT THE COST they paid, and let us COUNT THE COST You paid for us. Their cost was for this land, our United States of America. Your cost was for our eternity.

When comparing those costs, it is such a simple thing to VOTE…that is one sure practical way we can remember those who went before us.

A Veteran’s Perspective


James Hutton, COL (R), USA




Israel was attacked by terrorists from Hamas on October 7, 2023. This was an unprovoked and coordinated attack centered on innocent civilians. More than 1400 people were killed and more than 100, including a number of Americans, were taken hostage. Victims of the attack included all age groups and sexes that had one thing in common. They were Jews.

Just days after the attack, far left groups internationally called for a ceasefire, before Israel launched a single counterattack. This proved to be an ominous sign of capitulation, but fortunately one that Israel itself refused to heed. Within a month, signs were posted in Washington D.C., one of which claimed, “Israel is committing genocide in Gaza,” when no action by Israel could be construed as genocidal.

It is as though the Hamas attackers and their sponsors in Iran anticipated Israel’s response and through international propaganda did their best to pressure the U.S. and its allies to restrain Israel. Predictably, Russia and China quickly announced support of Hamas and actively promoted the false narrative that Israel brought this brutal terrorist attack on itself. But the U.S. under President Joe Biden and many European leaders initially voiced unconditional support to Israel and acknowledged that the Israel government would and should defend itself. 

It was classic gaslighting. Obviously, Israel did not precipitate the attack across its border, yet leftist groups condemned not the attacker but Israel. The gaslighting operation has indeed had some effect, especially on those already prepared to believe or promote any negative story about Israel or the Jewish people. 

Since the attacks, protests against Israel’s response emerged on city streets and on U.S. and European college campuses. Jewish students have been harassed. Encampments of protesters sprung-up on some campuses, replete with eerily similar tents from coast-to-coast and pre-printed signage indicating planning from outside groups. Cries of “From the River to the Sea” (meaning the destruction of Israel and its people), echoed from leftist groups. Today, that phrase has been largely replaced by “Free, Free Palestine.”

As a Veteran, I know how important it is to maintain alliance commitments and be true to our national values.  In past wars, we have sometimes deviated from that path and faced terrible consequences.  But as the protests mount in the U.S., the Biden administration’s support for Israel seemingly weakens. Instead of calling on Hamas to capitulate and stop fighting behind the cover of civilians, Israel is urged to restrain military operations. There is a focus on cease fires rather than accomplishing enduring peace. But Israel is not bowing to such pressure.   

The motives of Israel and Hamas are starkly different.  Hamas seeks to retain political control in its Gaza redoubt by magnifying the deaths of Palestinians. It acts as a proxy for Iran whose announced intent is the elimination of the Israeli state. Israel seeks to remove, once and for all, the threat of future Hamas terrorist attacks while minimizing civilian casualties. It must act with full recognition of the existential future threat from a nuclear armed Iran and existing proxy agents of Iran. Hamas fights on, holds hostages and steals international aid meant for Gazans. Israel continues operations with its goals unchanged despite protests and sanctions.

As we have seen most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq, if an opponent is not vanquished, it will regenerate. The Biden administration must help Israel defeat Hamas. It is in our national interest to preserve a strong democratic ally like Israel in the Middle East. We cannot allow U.S. policy to be dictated by the immediate needs of election-year politics.

What happens next? Undoubtedly, Israel will continue to fight for its existence in one of the most complicated corners of the world. Ultimately, the resolution to Gaza cannot result in a reconstructed Hamas sanctuary. Hopefully, U.S. leadership remains resolute. The U.S. must stand strong with Israel to defeat terrorist actors and Iranian proxies. U.S. weakness, as seen in Afghanistan, must not be repeated. Regional stability is at risk. Adept diplomacy, firm commitments, and rebuilt alliances will enable Israel, Arab governments, the U.S., and like-minded nations to pursue more lasting solutions.


-voting information-

everything you need to get off the fence

American Veterans Vote, Inc. (AVV) is a volunteer team of Veterans and Veteran supporters. We are a 527 Political Action Committee with a nationally-focused mission to promote the political power of Veterans and Veteran supporters in support of our three strategic goals:

  • Support of Veterans and their Families
  • Defend our Constitution as Written and Amended
  • Protect the Nation at Home and Abroad

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

“Every Veteran, Every Vote.”
We don’t speak FOR Veterans… we speak AS Veterans.


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