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Veterans Have The Most To Lose By Not Voting
This is not an endorsement for any political candidate. Rather, this is a call to arms — to vote! — for all veterans and active military personnel. Your vote in the 2016 presidential election is more important than ever, because if we veterans voice ourselves in the full-throttled manner to which we are accustomed, our votes will be a deciding factor, regardless of which way it swings.
At every echelon of the military, from platoons and squadrons all the way to divisions and wings, I hear service members talk about the same issues. They are many of the same issues I hear by simply stopping in for a beer at the local VFW. Veterans worry about all the problems non-veterans worry about and then some.
So, if you are a veteran reading this and you wonder why you haven’t gotten a raise that matches inflation in years and hasn’t busted over 2% since 2010, vote. If you are frustrated with the Veterans Affairs’ bureaucratic nature, vote. If you wonder why you have to get your subordinates set up on Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowances (food stamps) because they don’t make enough money to take care of their family, vote. If you have watched your brothers and sisters cut from the military through “right-sizing” while at the same time wondering why so many DoD civilians keep their jobs, vote. If you can’t understand how the legislative and executive branch each year try to cut the promised benefits you earned, VOTE! I can go on and on about the things we all see and quietly bitch about in our sections. But the tool you have at your disposal, the arms if you will, is to vote. It has, can, and will matter.
In the 2012 presidential election, the VA estimated 30% of veterans didn’t vote. While I understand voting is deeply personal and some choose to express themselves by not voting, I write to argue this is the wrong tack. My experience in the military has shown me that more often than not, inaction leads to unintended, often dangerous consequences. Choosing action, on the other hand, promotes discussion, critique, and a decision — critical to executing any military operation. If voting is a military operation, the mission can’t be accomplished by sitting behind the line of departure.
President Obama won the 2012 election with roughly 65 million votes. The VA estimates (because the VA doesn’t really know anything for sure) that there are about 22 million veterans in this country. I have failed math classes on multiple levels (a point I am kind of proud of), but even I can see that the numbers don’t lie — we are a class of individuals that can make a difference in this country.
We are all fond of saying that your service to the nation doesn’t end when the uniform comes off or when you gome home for the night. We are proud as military members to say it is 24/7. Voting is a continuation of that. So execute.
For more information on how to get yourself registered to vote in your state, visit https://www.fvap.gov for those currently serving. If you are a retiree, visit your local state or territory website here https://www.fvap.gov/links for more information.
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.
Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.
The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.
BYESVILLE — A Meadowbrook High School student removed from class last Friday for being intoxicated is now facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to shoot people if the previous incident harmed his chances to join a branch of the United States military.
Gabriel D. Blackledge, 18, of Cambridge, is facing one count of making terrorist threats, a third-degree felony, filed by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Blackledge remained incarcerated in the county jail on a $250,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed, according to the sheriff's office's website.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.