Veterans and 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.

    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

    ∙ 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

    Email:  VeteransCaucus@democratsabroad.org 

     

    DA Veterans and Military Families Leadership:

    John Eastwood
    | Taiwan Chair, DA rep to DNC, DNC Veterans and Military Families Council
    Anna Marie Mattson
    | VMF Caucus Acting Chair, DPCA Voting Rep for DA France
    Michael Lee
    | VMF Steering Committee
    Michael Ramos
    | DA Hispanic Caucus; DA Affirmative Action Committee; DA Veterans and Military Families Caucus; DA Australia (Victoria); DNC Labor Council
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    News

    Memorial Day 2020

    LEST WE EVER FORGET

    Quarantine won't stop us from remembering the fallen on Memorial Day

    Memorial Day will be different this year. There may not be any large gatherings or services but we can still honor the men and women who lost their lives defending our freedoms.
    For virtual ceremonies and more information, you can check our Facebook page:
    here.

    Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
    On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
    Where foes no more molest,
    Nor sentry's shot alarms!

    Ye have slept on the ground before,
    And started to your feet
    At the cannon's sudden roar,
    Or the drum's redoubling beat.

    Decoration Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    ß2.pngDemocrats Abroad France will be sending wreaths to be laid by the cemetery staff during small ceremonies around the country: at the Lafayette Monument and in Suresnes, Belleau Wood, Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, St. James. Meredith Wheeler will by taking flowers to the graves of the two OSS Commandos downed during WWII in the Tarn. We do ask you to consider making a donation to help cover the costs of the wreaths, so you may click here for a one time donation.

    ß5.pngAfter the ceremonies, the wreaths will be placed on the graves of those who died during World War I. At Suresnes, it will be Private Mitchell Davis, a Howard University Law Graduate and one of the Afro-Americansoldiers who died of the Spanish Flu”pandemic in 2018. He is one of the few highly educated African-Americans that are being cared for at the cemetery and he even wrote a book entitled « One Hundred Choice Quotations by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race »:

    « Through avalanches of prejudices; industrial barriers; professional intrigues; legal technicalities; diplomatic effronteries, and political buffetings, the American Negro has, at last arrived before the public eye, as a factor not easily to be evaded » ~Mitchell Davis, One Hundred Choice Quotations by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race, 1917.

    At the Lafayette Monument it will be Carter Ovington, a pilot who wasdowned and was never recovered.  He has a tomb in the crypt but is a bit special in that he is MIA as well. 

    ß3.pngAt Belleau Wood, it will be PVT Hercules Grays from the 369thInfantry Regiment also known as the Harlem hellfighters and you can find more information on this unit here.

    ß6.pngAnother Afro-American, Private William Cuff will be honored at Oise-Asne.  He is a recipient (Posthumous) of the American Distinguished Service Cross and the French Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star. 

    Now is a great time to use social media. Consider posting pictures of those you wish to honor and remember on Memorial Day or ask those who were going to participate in a service to record a message from their home.

     

    Thank you for remembering,
    Anna Marie Mattson
    Veterans and Military Families Caucus

     

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    Advocate for 3 hot topics

     

    Call your Senators and House Representatives, Rapid Response needed on three hot topics:

    (1) Ask for Congressional Sponsors to support Tammy Duckworth’s initiative in pushing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to include veterans abroad in the CARES Act. Script here and see Duckworth's Letter here.


    (2) Advocate to cancel the in-person West Point Graduation Ceremony on June 13th to keep our cadets and their families safe from the Covid virus. Scripts to use when calling and writing Congress here.


    (3) Destroy the Post Office, and you destroy democracy. We must take action to save the USPS here at the same time. “Simply put, if you hate the Post Office then you hate America.... We need to all lean on our members of Congress — regardless of party — to lean on the White House to save our Post Office before September.”

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