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 will accept any DA member.

    Democrats 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 endeavor. 

    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.


    ∙ 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;


    ∙ 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;





    DA Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus Leadership:

    Robert Gould
    | Co-Chair, Global Veteran and Military Families Caucus; Chair, Political Book Club leader
    Erin Watson
    | Chairperson, DAROK, Co-Chair Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus
    See all Leaders


    Pearl Harbor Rememberance 2020: Pearl Harbor through the eyes of children

    Volunteers practicing a gas drill on Honolulu. Every child over the age of 7

    was issued a gas mask after the Pearl Harbor Attack.

    By Jim Moss and Tilly Gaillard

    December 7th is the anniversary of the surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor, home to the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, by the Imperial Japanese Navy. This event triggered the U.S. decision to enter WWII. 

    The first strike sank the USS Arizona and its crew in 40 feet of water. 1,177 sailors and Marines were killed while 335 escaped.

    In the second strike, 10 torpedoes hit the USS Oklahoma. It sank with 400 men aboard.

    In the end, of the 92 ships docked at Pearl Harbor, 19 sank. The final toll was 2,388 dead and 1,178 wounded. The Japanese only lost 29 of their 353.

    Suspicion led to the internment of Japanese Americans with as little as 1/16th Japanese blood in detention centers in the U.S. between 1942 and 1945. After the War returning to “normal life” was hard, with no shortage of racism and discrimination.

    Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Roy Stacy, former Vice Chair of the DA Brittany Chapter, witnessed the event as a 4-year old and recorded it in his riveting memoirs, A Delinquent’s Detour.


    “My earliest remembrance from growing up in Hawaii was when I was 4 years old on December 7, 1941. It was early Sunday morning and my father and I were out washing his pride and joy, a 1936 yellow convertible Packard. Just before 8 am we were surprised to see dozens of fighter aircraft, with bright red zeros, bombs and torpedoes under their fuselages. They dropped over the mountains and began low level attacks on air bases and especially Pearl Harbor.  


    My father and I ran down to the beach at the end of our lane where we had an unobstructed view of Pearl Harbor just a kilometer away over the water. After digging shallow fox holes we lay there mesmerized by the continuous explosions. My mother emerged from her hiding place under her bed to periodically run to the beach, check on us, and then return to her under-the-bed air raid shelter.


    We learned later that 358 Japanese aircraft had been launched from 6 aircraft carriers north east of Honolulu so they could attack with the blinding sun behind the fighters.  A Japanese hallmark.


    From nearby Fort DeRussy some anti aircraft guns hit one aircraft which crash landed at the far end of the beach near us. My father ran down and took a ten inch morsel of the plane and gave it to me as a souvenir. It has unfortunately been lost during the many moves my family made over the years.  


    By Monday all the beaches were closed, covered in multiple strands of barbed wire and a curfew in place.  A Japanese invasion was anticipated as had occurred on Wake Island.  Fortunately, it never came.”

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    Biden-Harris Events for Veterans and Military Families

    Letter from Leo Cruz, Biden Campaign Veterans and Military Families Engagement Director


    6 days to take our democracy back.

    Yesterday, Vice President Biden visited Warm Springs, Georgia and delivered remarks focused on unity and healing with one week left before the general election. He later spoke at a second rally in Atlanta, where he urged Georgians to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket. You can watch his full remarks in Warm Springs and Atlanta.

    Today, Joe Biden will receive a briefing from public health experts. After, Vice President Biden will deliver remarks on his plans to beat COVID-19, lower health care costs, and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. You can watchHERE.

    Also today, Kamala Harris will travel to Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona to urge Arizonans to make a plan to vote early. In the morning, Senator Harris will meet with a group of Latina business owners in Tucson. After, Senator Harris will participate in an early vote mobilization event. In the afternoon, Senator Harris will travel to Phoenix to meet with a group of Black leaders. Later, Senator Harris will participate in an early vote mobilization event with Grammy Award-winning singer and philanthropist Alicia Keys.

    Yesterday, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris released a statement on the shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. In his statement Joe Biden stated that “Walter Wallace’s life, like too many others’, was a Black life that mattered — to his mother, to his family, to his community, to all of us.”

    Get Involved -- Upcoming Biden Veterans and Military Families Events

    Wednesday, October 28, 6:00 PM ET: NH Veterans & Military Families Caucus Get Out The Vote: Join the New Hampshire Veterans and Military Families Caucus for a virtual Get Out The Vote Rally! Featured Guest Speakers: The Hon. Ray Mabus, the 75th U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; the Hon. Patrick J. Murphy, the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress and former U.S. Undersecretary of the Army; The Hon. Maura Sullivan, former Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a Marine Corps Veteran; Tam Siekmann, Chair of the Londonderry Democrats, Blue Star Family Member & Marine Corps Spouse.

    Wednesday, October 28, 6:30 PM ET:  Michigan GOTV Roundtable on Civil Rights and Military Communities: Join us for a virtual discussion with General Lloyd Newton, USAF, Ret., Professor Gertrude Croom, Dr. Turnera Croom, and Damien Butler, USA and USAF, 2004 - 2018, and Ms. Tracy Pakulniewicz, former Director of Policy Integration, Department of Defense, focusing on the importance of electing Joe Biden for servicemembers and military families of color.

    Wednesday, October 28, 6:00 PM CT: GOTV in The Quad Cities and Southeast Iowa with Admiral Michael Franken (Ret.): We’re so excited you’re interested in making calls to elect Joe Biden for President, Theresa Greenfield for Senate and Democrats up and down the ballot in Iowa this November. 🇺🇸 From the comfort of your home, you can help us Get Out the Vote to help elect Democrats all while staying socially distant.

    Wednesday, October 28, 8:00 PM ET: Midwest Conservative Veterans for Biden Roundtable: Join former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Joseph Collins; Air Force veteran; Pennsylvania-residents and Ohio-natives RADM Janice Hamby (USN, Ret.) and her husband and U.S. Army veteran Dale Hamby; Illinois-native BG Steven Anderson (USA, Ret.); and Pennsylvania-native and Ohio-resident MG Dennis Laich, (USAR, Ret.) for a Midwest Conservative Veterans for Biden Roundtable moderated by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force and Illinois-native Robert Goodwin on Wednesday, October 28th at 8:00PM ET.

    Wednesday, October 28th, 8:00 pm ET GOTV with Oprah: Oprah Winfrey is hosting an event with voters from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and across the country.

    Thursday, October 29, 7:00 PM ET: Michigan National Security GOTV Roundtable: Join us for a virtual discussion with General Lloyd Newton, USAF, Ret., The Honorable Duane Woerth, Brigadier General Don Schenk, USA, Ret., Brigadier General Mark Montjar, USA, Ret., and Ms. Tracy Pakulniewicz, former Director of Policy Integration, Department of Defense,  via Zoom focusing on the national security imperative to elect Joe Biden. 

    Connect With Your Fellow Americans

    During this time of social distancing, the most impactful thing you can do is reach out to your fellow Americans and ensure they have a plan to vote as soon as possible. Please join a weekly phone bank in critical states across the nation:



    Again, here’s what you can do to help us restore the soul of America:


    Thank you,
    Leo Cruz
    Veterans and Military Families Engagement Director
    Sign up to take action here and text "VMF" to 30330
    Connect on Facebook for Veterans and Military Families for Biden and on Twitter
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    Upcoming Events