Veterans Have The Most To Lose By Not Voting

Veterans Benefits

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.

Related: 6 Types Of Vets Dominating Your Social Media This Election »

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 for those currently serving. If you are a retiree, visit your local state or territory website here for more information.

The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.

"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.

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WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."

"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

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(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

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The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

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