AVV Newsletter – May 2024


volunteers needed

for the 

AVV recruitment table

 at the 

richmond Gun show

May 18 & 19

Richmond Raceway Complex

600 E. Laburnum Ave

Richmond, VA 23222

American Veterans Vote

Newsletter May 13, 2024

Our Strategic Goals

From the CEO

Virginia is in Play

“Virginia is in play!”  WELCOME words spoken by GOP leaders at the GOP Spring Retreat in Florida this last weekend.  I had been invited to attend this planning meeting and I took every advantage to promote, educate, and advocate for the Veteran vote.  It was an important message.  I heard many political speakers, diverse insights, inspiring messages, and great appreciation for the service of Veterans.  But remarkably, in my opinion, there was little to no recognition of the power of the Veteran vote.  Veterans are 20+ million nationwide, center right in their political leaning, fully aware of the value of service, and strongly supportive of the Constitution.  Every Veteran, Every Vote is a force to be reckoned with, if informed and fully mobilized to achieve change through the ballot box.

Again, the most remarkable thing I heard from the top was the message that “Virginia is in play!”  The specifics and rationale had much to do with polling, state leadership, and voter sentiments around major issues.  Not described is the hidden and potential power of 700+K Veteran votes in Virginia.  The 13 Electoral votes that Virginia will cast in the national election can be the Shock and Awe moment and create real momentum for those candidates fighting close elections down ticket.  Every Veteran, Every Vote.

American Veterans Vote is working hard this spring to inform and mobilize our members, our Veteran supporters, and those who can ally with us to help put Virginia in play.  My trip to Florida was just one initiative.  On 28 and 30 April, AVV hosted Veteran forums to both identify key issues for Veterans and encourage voter turnout.  At least two more Veteran forums are planned, one on 22 June in Spotsylvania and one on 28 September in NOVA.  In between, we plan to have regional rallies for Veterans, scrutinize, endorse and support candidates, and execute a communication plan that puts “election how, when, and where” in front of our growing subscriber and reader base.

We are proud to announce a Vets2Vote operation again this year.  On 18 June there will be a primary election across Virginia.  The OPORD is being published shortly with the details that enable our AVV Regional Team leaders to commence planning for manning, materials, and other logistics supporting primary voting sites.  Our goal is to have an AVV presence at all primary sites in key congressional districts.  This not only allows AVV to provide voting information to Veterans and Veteran supporters, but we also expect to surpass past success in member sign up. 

With the primary in June completed, the candidates selected, and all AVV endorsements published, over the 14 weeks leading up to the commencement of early voting, we will promote early voting sign up, volunteer support to endorsed candidates, and encourage Veterans and Veteran supporters to vote through all types of media.  July 4th should be ideal for additional member sign up as well as promotion of Veteran support and service.  Additionally, there is a long list of commemoration and memorial dates through the summer and fall, which will be posted on the AVV website calendar.

The website continues to be updated.  In particular, the regional team leaders are posting news and blog updates for their regional member teams in the “Member Content” portion on the website.  Please check this out.  Questions can go to the team leaders’ emails shown in this same website location.  The month of May seems still early in this election cycle.  But Every Veteran, Every Vote demands early and continuous attention to turn out Veteran and Veteran supporter votes to ensure Virginia is in play!

Presidential election years always produce large voter turnout.   Veteran turnout in 2020 was close to 80%.  But 20% still stayed home.  This 20% represents more than 100K Veteran votes.  Make it your goal to help motivate “low propensity voters” to become “highly motivated voters.”  Put Virginia in play.  Add Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, early in the evening on November 5, to Shock and Awe a national audience.

Veterans Forward!  Every Veteran, Every Vote.     

Bob Wood


American Veterans Vote


CEO, American Veterans Vote

Inspiration Corner

COL (R) Michael B. “Yama” Hoyes

community organizing against evil

The mob reactions at universities we see against Israel calls to my mind “community organizing,” a term that has become widely known.  The person credited with defining that profession, Saul Alinsky, espoused that a successful organizer should be “an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; to fan latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expressions.”  Now those “expressions” might lead to picketing, demonstrating, or in some other way, taking action.  Within the preface of his book, “Rules for Radicals,” Alinsky dedicates his tome to “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.”

What are we to remember? Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, verse 12: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We are to remember that, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17

What are we to do? According to 1Thessalonians 5:22, “reject every kind of evil.” Even though the ultimate battle has already been won, we are to continue to fight, with confidence, because we know the end of the story.

Can we do anything else? PRAY, due to the spiritual battle we are in, VOTE and then get fellow Veterans to pray and to vote!

A Veteran’s Perspective


Mike Flanagan, USA (Ret)

veterans wanted for virginia-based trade program

China has been threatening US supremacy  on the seas, but the Virginia-based Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program and Veterans are part of the Navy’s solution.  As a consultant on this pilot project, I see first-hand how Veterans are key to winning the war for talent in defense companies across the company.

ATDM in Danville, VA, is the prototype for a regional training network that must produce 10,000 skilled trade workers over the next 10 years. Veterans are our best students for the four-month program because they have the maturity and mission-focus to complete the training and be ready to work within days of graduation. ATDM offers five possible trades that have critical shortages: Welding, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining, Additive Manufacturing, Non-Destructive Test, and Quality Assurance.” 

Defense manufacturing jobs offer a thriving new career path. ATDM offers not just a solution, but a promising path forward in the transition to civilian life. The OSD and Navy-funded program recently shared the following stories published in the Veteran Administration’s newsletter:

One shining example of the program’s success is Virginia National Guard Veteran Jacob Lease, who worked in construction for four years after his service. But as a Veteran, he still wanted to support the military in some capacity. He found his answer at ATDM.  

Lease chose the additive manufacturing program because of the advanced technological training available at ATDM and the growing job market for that field. 

“The full scholarships covering tuition and housing available for Veterans at ATDM allowed me to be fully immersed in my experience and absorb and learn so much in a very short amount of time,” Lease said. “All of the facilities there are top of the line; I couldn’t ask for more.”

Before graduation, Lease was offered employment from his cohort this spring and now works as a CNC machinist at Curtiss-Wright in South Carolina.

“I love everything about it, because I know everything I’m producing is directly supporting the Navy,” he said. “It’s quite an honor to be able to do that.”

A second example is Makhi Butler, who enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school in NJ. As his military service was ending, Butler was looking for new pathways to a civilian career.

He first heard of ATDM from his staff sergeant. After further research, Butler learned that CNC machining careers were in high demand.

“CNC machining is fun if you like numbers combined with hands-on work,” said Butler. “It’s meticulous. You’re learning how to read blueprints and drawings, with a bit of trigonometry thrown in the mix. It can be challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s second nature. You make quality parts that are up to code, which can be a tedious trial-and-error process. It’s incredibly satisfying when you get it right.”

When asked about the transition from his previous career, Butler says discipline, consistency and community are key. He found all three at ATDM.

“You have people around you who believe in you and can help you along the way,” he said. “ATDM is for everyone. Anyone can succeed in this program, especially with the help that we have from the staff and instructors and the camaraderie of your cohort pushing you to do better as a team.”

Butler graduated in February 2024 with multiple job offers.

How to apply to ATDM

  • Visit the website
  • Select “Apply” 
  • Complete the easy enrollment application
  • Select “Submit” and step closer to new opportunities.

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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