Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus



  • The Veterans and Military Families Caucus is made up of DA members from around the world who are willing and able to advocate on issues important to the veterans and their families within the United States of America and those living abroad. The Caucus welcomes any DA member. 

    VMF2021-1.jpgDemocrats Abroad (DA) honors the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces; their service deserves our deepest gratitude and respect. Government policies must reflect the interests of those who are serving and those who have served, including their families. This caucus will work within DA to achieve this.

    We share and adhere to the principles and demands expressed in the platforms of both the Democratic Party and DA regarding veterans, active military and their families abroad.

    We recognize and appreciate that all of the various groups, ethnicities, persuasions, identities, and beliefs that make up American society are present in our military; we share issues and concerns in common with the other DA caucuses. Discrimination has no place in the military and its ancillary organizations, nor the Veterans and Military Families Caucus.

    The members of our armed forces, their families, and our caucus reflect the diversity of race, gender, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, color, ethnicity, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, and ability that make up American society. Discrimination, intolerance, hate speech, and bigotry have no place in the United States Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, or our caucus.

    GOALS

    Reach out to veterans, active duty and reserve military members as well as their dependents living abroad to encourage them to register to vote and to engage them in advocacy for our policy positions;

    Provide a forum for DA members to understand better the issues and concerns affecting our military forces, veterans, and their families outside of the United States;

    ACTIONS

    VMF2021-2.jpg Provide support for visits to wounded/recovering warriors and caregivers at overseas U.S. military hospitals in conjunction with like-minded external organizations;

    Exchange information and concerns with other DA caucuses and interest groups regarding relevant issues and shared concerns to ensure that as they impact veterans and military families, they are communicated among the broader DA community for a successful joint response;

    Organize participation in Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies at U.S. landmarks abroad such as military cemeteries, battle sites, and places of historical U.S. military significance;

    Facilitate get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts for veterans and military families; also develop sensible and sensitive strategies for encouraging active service members at U.S. overseas military bases to vote;

    Establish and maintain contact with other American political organizations to find areas of joint concern regarding U.S. veterans and military dependents;

    Always strive to improve the DA Platform and organize advocacy efforts towards U.S. law and policymakers for issues pertinent to veterans, active military, and their families living abroad;

    RESPONSIBILITIES

    ORGANIZATION

    Please feel free to contact the Veterans and Military Families Caucus: [email protected] 

     

    DA Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus Leadership:

    Anthony Nitz
    | Vice Chair, DA Vietnam; Chair, Global VMF Caucus
    Kee Adams Evans
    | Chair, DA Guatemala; Vice-Chair, Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus
    Michael Ramos
    | DA Hispanic Caucus; DA Veterans and Military Families Caucus; DA Australia (Victoria); DNC Labor Council
    Candice Kerestan
    | DA International Chair; Immediate Past DA Germany Chair
    See all Leaders

    News

    VMF Ninth Newsletter

    Masthead

    November 2021

    Newsletter

    Vol. 1, No. 9

        To view in pdf, click here

    Greetings from VMF Co-editor

     

    “The Democrats don't matter.”--- Steve Bannon

    Hello and welcome members and friends,

              I am amazed that it is already November! It is tempting to head into the holiday season wanting to put issues of government and politics behind us. Please understand that when you personally need a break, it is important to take one. No one's psyche can handle the current political whirlpool endlessly. There is a podcast I listen to, The Daily Beans, (more below in the new PODCASTS section) where the host often says, “Pass the baton.” She also finishes every episode with “Take care of your mental health.”

              The thing about passing the baton is it only works if enough of us are in the relay race. I invite you to find a podcast that speaks to you (Please share links of your favorites with us at [email protected].) and take some action. Small, medium or large--- find a way to get involved with an issue that particularly matters to you.

              We all live outside the States, at present, and I for one am most grateful to begin my 16th year living in my olive grove on the Greek island of Lesvos. But we all CARE. And things are not going well in our country of citizenship. In fact, alarming, disgraceful and dangerous things are happening in the US.

              I titled this missive with words from Steve Bannon, from an interview he did with Michael Lewis, the author of many great books: Moneyball, The Big Short, The Fifth Risk, etc. I throw these words out there at the head of our precious newsletter because I think they are a wake up call. Influential people, like Bannon (as much as you might dislike him you ignore him at our democracy’s risk), believe that they can discount Democrats and get away with it.

              In fact the whole quote is even more alarming: “The Democrats don't matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with sh*t.” This is the tactic being used all across America right now, a simple and simpleton's tactic but one that is sadly powerful. And let me tell you the sh*t is flying in the news these days. We as Democrats (and Independents who join in our fight) have to make ourselves matter.

              If you need any convincing, I encourage you to listen to a 6-episode podcast series (approx 30-minutes each) called Southlake. I warn you people behave badly, and the students of the Carroll Independent School district suffer. Then,  just yesterday my son called me from Wisconsin and said the local paper had a headline of similar school board issues in our home state.

              One final podcast I will mention is called Gaslit Nation. It is a bit harder to listen to than some, it doesn't have great sound quality, and the topics are uncomfortable, but the two women are experts on the subject of rising autocracies and dictators around the world. They know a thing or two! Andrea Chalupa produced a film about Stalin's imposed famine in the Ukraine. Just last week there was a showing of the film in Moscow. The police came, locked the doors from the outside, and interrogated everyone present.

              I truly don't know what Republicans are thinking. The path they seem determined to follow – just yesterday all 50 Republican Senators voted against even debating the Freedom To Vote Act – leads directly to such perilous outcomes. And in their attempts to control school boards America’s youth will be deprived. When perspective disappears only the sh*t remains.

              I apologize for starting the month off with such a mood of doom and gloom, but if even one of us is motivated to take action, it has to be worth it. Thank you for your attention.

              Be well,

              Robin H Rafaelidys

              Lesvos, Greece

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    Join the Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus Team!

    Join the Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus Team!

    We are quickly approaching a time of great change in America. Former President Donald Trump won Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2016 -- three states that made up a core part of the Democrats’ “blue wall.” In 2020, President Biden won back all three along with Arizona and Georgia, but his victory was achieved by incredibly small margins in key states.

    As we prepare for 2022 and 2024, we will need to adapt to this change. We will need to identify the places where we can make a difference for our community and other communities alike and fight to keep the House, Senate, and White House blue. I am determined to ensure that our 2021-2023 VMF team is ready to tackle these challenging times with a diverse, active, and outspoken group of leaders and volunteers.

    I will be accepting applications for our steering committee leadership positions until 11:59 PM EDT on October 15th. I will strive to complete making appointments to these positions no later than October 20th. If you are just interested in volunteering with our caucus’s teams, please still send an application! I will share volunteer applications with our appointed leaders so that they can fill out their teams with interested volunteers.

    Available Steering Committee and Volunteer Positions:

    • Secretary
    • Regional representatives for the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East/Africa
    • Member Engagement and Advocacy - Team leader and volunteers
    • Events Coordinator - Team leader and volunteers
    • Communications and Social Media - Volunteers

    If you are interested in being on our VMF team, please send me an email with what position or activities you are interested in and why you want to be a part of our team. Current service members, veterans, military family members, and allies are all welcome and encouraged to apply.

    Best,


    Anthony “Mike” Nitz
    Chair, Global VMF Caucus
    [email protected]

    read more
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    Upcoming Events

    Thursday, December 02, 2021 at 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) · 10 rsvps
    Zoom

    Immigrant Detention Issues in the U.S. - Conversation with Eunice Cho, Civil Rights Attorney

    In cooperation with the Global Hispanic Caucus and the Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus, we will speak with Eunice Hyunhye Cho, a civil rights attorney in Washington, D.C., about current immigrant detention issues in the U.S. Hear about recent developments, updates in immigration legislation, and what voters abroad can do to help as well as stay informed.

    Speaker Bio: Eunice Cho's work currently focuses on challenging unconstitutional conditions in U.S. immigration detention facilities and the expansion of immigration detention. She previously litigated cases involving the rights of immigrants in detention, incarcerated people, and students with disabilities. Eunice is currently a staff attorney at the ACLU National Prison Project (but appearing exclusively in her individual capacity), and has worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the National Employment Law Project. She has also authored several reports regarding abuses in immigration detention and immigration court adjudication, including Shadow Prisons: Immigration Detention in the South.

    Location Time
    Washington, D.C. 9:00am
    London, UK 2:00pm
    Berlin, Germany 3:00pm
    Singapore, Singapore 10:00pm
    Seoul, South Korea 11:00pm
    Monday, December 13, 2021 at 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

    Commander In Chief Cup - GOTV

    ANNOUNCING THE FIRST EVER

    COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY
    GET OUT THE MILITARY VOTE FUNDRAISER!

    Sports fans, military friends, and family members: here is your chance to feel good, WIN or LOSE!!

    Commander-in-Chief's Trophy

    200,000 military personnel, and their families, live overseas. These service people make and break elections, and we want every single one of them ready to vote in 2022. So we're raising money to reach them all.

    Pick your favorite team for the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy, and help us get out the vote! Participants who pick the winning team will have our unending appreciation and snazzy certificate to show off. The three highest donors on the winning team will get some amazing Democrats Abroad Swag!

    Pick your team below!

     

    Air Force Falcons Army Black Knights Navy Midshipmen
    DONATE HERE DONATE HERE DONATE HERE

    A little history:

    The first ever Army/Navy game was played on November 29, 1890 at “The Plain” at West Point where the new Army team was defeated 24-0 by Navy who began their football program in 1879. Army and Navy have faced off 116 times with Navy at 60 wins to Army's 49 (there were 7 ties).

    Air Force showed up on the field in 1959 playing Army and then Navy in alternating years. The Commander-in-Chief Trophy and the round robin of games was established in 1972, with President Nixon awarding the 170-pound trophy to Army at a White House ceremony.

    The Air Force Falcons started out slowly, with the trophy going either to Army or Navy or being shared (some years wins and losses come out equally, so the trophy stays where it was last), but the Falcons got their gridiron legs in the '80's and won the trophy 16 of 21 years from 1982-2002, sharing the trophy once and Army taking it away 4 times.

    Where, you might say, is Navy? AHOY!! Because in 2003 the Midshipmen started a string of 7 straight years of victory, followed by 3 titles between 2010 and 2015! All-in-all, the Air Force Falcons have won the trophy 20 times, the Navy Midshipmen 16, and the Army Black Knights 9. Keep in mind, however, that Army won last year (10-7 over Air Force and 15-0 over Navy) and the trophy will have to be taken from them!

    While the games are played in many different locations – from Yankee Stadium (NY) to Soldier Field (Chicago) and the Academy home stadiums (Army/West Point, NY; Navy/Annapolis, MD; Air Force/Colorado Springs, CO) and at the Rose Bowl (CA); they are always held in the same rotation: Air Force vs Navy usually in October, Air Force vs Army in November, and then the “Army Navy Game” in December.

    This year’s KICK OFF will be held September 11th with Air Force at Navy. Are you ready to pick a winner? Click on any of the DONATE buttons above to pick game winners (a MERE $10 contribution) or the Commander-in-Chief Trophy winner. Donate as often as you like! All proceeds will go towards costs of Get Out The Vote efforts on and off military bases AROUND THE WORLD!!

    We thank you!!!

vmf