A Year In Review: 2023 VMF Accomplishments

On behalf of our 1,100+ members worldwide, we are pleased to share the Democrats Abroad Global Veterans and Military Families (VMF) Caucus’s list of accomplishments over the past twelve months. We are extremely proud of the work we have completed ranging from advocacy to webinars to collaborations and everything in between, but with an upcoming presidential election in 2024, we greatly look forward to accomplishing even more important initiatives over the next twelve months.

As a reminder, on January 1st (U.S. time), you can request your Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to vote back home in all federal elections in 2024. Please head over to VoteFromAbroad.org to request your FPCA starting January 1st, and do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about voting or if you’d like to become more involved with our caucus.

In Solidarity,

Kee Evans (Guatemala), VMF Chair
Andrew Anderson (Spain), VMF Vice Chair/Secretary
Robert Scott (Germany), VMF Steering Committee Member
Susan Fitoussi (France), VMF Steering Committee Member
Terese Sarno (Germany), VMF Steering Committee Member
Michael Ramos (Australia), VMF Steering Committee Member


* Several VMF postings on the DA website.

* End of year Caucus Membership is 1,143.

* Increased X/Twitter followers from 434 to 477, a 10% increase.

* Increased Facebook followers to 980.

* Participated in webinar discussion with a DNC-VMF member from OH and DA OH State Team in reviewing Ohio's recent ballot return changes. Watch here.

* Successfully got "veterans and military family members" to be included in the 2023-24 DA Delegate Selection Plan's Representational Goals (p. 53). Link

* Persuaded Sen. Menendez to introduce S.1090 in the Senate regarding GI Bill reform for vets abroad and created a take-action template. Link

* Created a take-action template for the IL Omnibus bill regarding UOCAVA EBR.Link 

* Created "Why join us?" video for DA Global Meeting.  Watch here.

* Podcast w/ James Smith with Black Deported Veterans of America. Watch here

* Held "Meet the VMF Steering Committee" webinar. Watch here.

*Podcast discussion with disabled Iraqi combat veteran Sgt. Joseph Washam, Ret. Watch here.

* Persuaded VFW to submit testimony to Congress about the need for FMP reform for service-connected disabled veterans living abroad (pp. 21-22). Link 

* Persuaded DAV to include in its testimony to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs  6/14/2023 hearing) the major problem of VA's outpatient clinic in Manila having halted "controlled medications" to service-connected, enrolled veterans needing doctor-prescribed pain relief meds (pp. 5-6) Link

* Signed on to a multi-organizational letter to POTUS and SECVA regarding gender-affirming surgery at VA. Link 

* Signed on to a multi-organizational letter to Congress regarding FY24 funding. Link

* Terese Sarno, Germany, VMF Steering Committee Member, Spread DA VMF messaging on Capitol Hill during door knocks in June.

* Provided VMF talking points to Representatives Takano (CA-39) and Correa (CA-46) during their visits to France.

* Questioned Rep. Case (D-HI-1) about the status of FMP reform and veterans living in the Philippines (starting at around the 01:06:40 mark) Watch here.

* Signed on to multi-organizational letter to Congress re FY24 NDAA and Defense/MilCon Appropriations. Link.

* Added to VMF Virtual Museum collection: veterans Bill Shadle, Andrew Anderson, and David Markham. See the DA Global VMF Virtual Museum here

* The VMF Caucus was represented at A-P's "Ace the Race '24" online event; slides presented are posted here.

* Participated in "Bells of Peace" on 11/11/23 at 11:00 a.m., worldwide: bell ringing and singing around the world to honor our veterans and active duty military.

* Participated in monthly DNC VMF Council meetings. Example from Oct. 2023.

* Completed 12 VMF Caucus steering committee meetings.

* Met with Daniel Barkhuff with the Veterans For Responsible Leadership regarding potential collaborations.

* VMF members having social meet-ups, Robert Scott, Steering Committee Member, Andrew Anderson, VC/Secretary DA Global VMF Caucus, and families.VMF members having social meet-ups

* VMF Steering Committee Member, Michael Ramos and Former VMF Chair, Mike Nitz had a social meeting in Australia.

* Laid Veterans Day wreath at ABMC's Lafayette Escadrille Memorial in Nov. 2023.

* Laid a wreath at the funeral of U.S. Army veteran Allen Brooks in Nov. 2023.Laid wreath at funeral of US Army veteran Allen Brooks

* Created and shared legislative advocacy slides on VMF social media.

* Sent "Valentines for Veterans" cards to congressional offices who were accepting them to be re-distributed to veterans' homes for Valentine's Day 2023.

* Twelve Read, White and Blue Newsletters were sent to VMF Membership by Editor Terese Sarno.