Vol. 2, No. 7
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"MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards…
Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy.
No right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”
— President Joe Biden
Editor’s Message —
Greetings. With the proliferation of false claims regarding election integrity, many states instituted new voting restrictions that have effectively hindered the right to vote for many U.S. citizens. In Florida, for example, voters are faced with very serious barriers when requesting absentee ballots. Congress has yet to pass new voting rights legislation so some states passed their own legislation to ensure voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots.
When signing the John. R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York, Governor Kathy Hochul proclaimed "At a time when the very foundation of our democracy is under threat, New York is leading the nation with new laws protecting the fundamental right to vote...we honor the work of the late Congressman John Lewis and activists like Medgar Evers as we make meaningful changes to our laws that enfranchise voters and ensure the voices of the people are heard in our democracy. Where the federal government fails to act, New York will continue to step up and lead the way: we did it with abortion protections, we did it with gun safety reforms, and I'm so proud to say we are doing it again with voting rights."
Voting rights are important and Congress needs to pass new nationwide legislation. Citizens need to be encouraged to vote by making Election Day a national holiday and making voting much easier. Standing in long lines for hours after traveling many miles by public buses to a voting location or extreme requirements for submitting absentee ballots make exercising our right to vote very onerous. Don't you cringe when you think of the Georgia law that prohibits people from giving water to voters standing in long lines under the hot sun waiting to vote? What can you do about this?
Vote for candidates who will protect our rights!
"People make their voices heard with their vote. We hold an inauguration to ensure a peaceful transition of power, and those of us lucky enough to serve work as hard as we can for as long as we can, as long as the people choose to keep us here. And once our time is up, we move on…
As much as some folks might want us to believe that story has lost some of its shine — that division and discrimination and everything else might've dimmed its light — I still know, deep in my heart, that what we share, as my husband continues to say, is so much bigger than what we don't. Our democracy is so much stronger than our differences."
–Michelle Obama, 7 September 2022, The White House
Please join our caucus to show your support of the U.S. military!
Filing a Disability Claim (Pre-Discharge)
Benefits Delivery at Discharge and VA Benefits Briefing
US Army | Soldier For Life
Study finds 37% greater veteran suicide rate than reported by VA
Former VA secretaries urge Senate to designate day to help veterans, service members at risk of suicide
S.Res.754 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): A resolution designating November 13, 2022, as "National Warrior Call Day" in recognition of the importance of connecting warriors in the United States to support structures necessary to transition from the battlefield.
OCTOBER is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
President Biden Delivers Remarks on Cancer Moonshot to End Cancer
60th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis
October 1-8 Absentee Voting Week
October 2 End of Blue Star Welcome Week
October 3-7 National Voter Education Week
October 8 VMF Meeting 4:00pm EDT, Password dems WebEx Link
October 10 Columbus Day
October 13 U.S. Navy Birthday
October 21 National Pets for Veterans Day
October 26 Day of The Deployed
October 27 Navy Day
October 30 Ms. Veteran America Pageant —The Woman Beyond The Uniform
Upcoming DA Activities
November 8: General Election in all states
If you have never voted while overseas before, it is not too late!
November 8: Special General Election-California U.S. Senate
November 8: Special General Election-Oklahoma U.S. Senate
Have you requested your absentee ballot at Vote From Abroad?
Register and request your ballot by your state’s deadline.
Check your State Voting Rules.
Voting problem or question? Contact: [email protected]
Haven’t received your ballot?
Back Up Ballot:
BB-1. What is the Backup Ballot and how do I use it?
BB-2. I haven't received my blank ballot yet. Should I use a Backup Ballot (FWAB)?
Your Vote Counts
Many U.S. elections within the past ten years have been decided by a margin of victory of less than 0.1%. All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the state’s absentee ballot receipt deadline.
Topics to consider when voting:
Biden outlines gun crime plan, denounces GOP over Jan. 6 in Pennsylvania speech
Why Is It Illegal To Give Water To People Waiting To Vote In Georgia? Racism
Ron DeSantis Signs Florida Election Law Live On Fox News : NPR
Georgia Gov. Kemp signs GOP election bill amid an outcry
Wisconsin Supreme Court Deems Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes Illegal
Texas Supreme Court allows a 1920s law banning abortion
Arizona's controversial anti-abortion bill becomes law
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham introduces 15-week abortion ban in the Senate
West Virginia lawmakers OK abortion ban with few exceptions
Mike Pence Says Stripping Women of Rights More Important Than Midterm Gains
DeSantis moves to ban transition care for transgender youths, Medicaid recipients
WHAT’S CONGRESS UP TO?
The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs continues to sit on legislation critical to the overseas student veteran community: H.R. 7375. Passing this legislation would greatly help veterans and military family members attempting to use their earned GI Bill educational benefits overseas. Let Chairman Tester and the Committee members know of your strong support for its immediate passage: https://www.veterans.senate.gov/contact-chairman.
In the House of Representatives, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs has decided to weigh in on Republicans' attacks on women's reproductive health care. In order to share these important stories on social media (while maintaining privacy), the Committee is encouraging veterans to fill out its survey.
August 26th, President Biden signed into law S.4458, the Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act of 2022.This bill improves the process for determining that educational institutions meet the requirements of the 85/15 rule.
The following bills passed the House of Representatives in September 2022:
H.R. 7939 – Student Veteran Emergency Relief Act
H.R. 7846 – Veterans’ Compensation Cost of Living Adjustment Act
H.R. 7735 – Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act
H.R. 5916 – Wounded Warrior Access Act
H.R. 8260 – Faster Payments to Veterans Survivors’ Act
Abortion Services - Women Veterans Health Care
Emergency and Foreign Medical Care for Vets
Open a my Social Security account
VA Hearing Aids How to get VA Hearing Aids? | How much do VA Hearing Aids Cost?
Improvements to Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry
VA’s new multibillion-dollar health records system needs major improvements, agency says
Military & Veteran Education Benefits
Post 9/11 GI Bill Increase Aug. 1, 2022-July 31, 2023
Click here for our Spotlight on Virtual Vote
Click here for our Podcast & Social Media Recommendations
Click here for our Poetry Corner
Click here for our Film and Book Recommendations
Click here for our Brain-Zone Quiz
Click here for our Educational Resources
Click here for our Virtual Museum
GLOBAL VMF CAUCUS MEETINGS
The VMF Caucus meets once a month.
All Democrats Abroad members are welcome!
WebEx link for October 8 at 4:00pm EDT, Password dems. WebEx Link
Let us know when you return your absentee ballot!
Terese Sarno (Germany)
Kee Evans (Guatemala, Military Family)
Please join our caucus to show your support of the U.S. military!
“When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.” –Noah Webster, 1832