We’re getting close to election season, the time to exercise our right to vote—our most precious right granted by the U.S. Constitution. Throughout our history, men and women have suffered and died to protect this right. While DAV is a nonpartisan organization, we strongly encourage our members and their families to vote for the candidates of their choice as expressions of our freedom as responsible citizens.
Candidates for office—from local governments to the office of the president of the United States of America—should be aware that the votes of DAV members and those who support us cannot be taken for granted. Debates, town hall meetings and other election-season events provide valuable opportunities to reach and educate elected officials and candidates for office about the veterans issues that are most important to us.
However, it’s important to remember that, in accordance with the DAV National Constitution and Bylaws, DAV cannot endorse or oppose any particular party or candidate for office. When speaking as a DAV member or leader, be sure to separate your personal opinion from the organization and not indicate your support or opposition to any particular party or candidate. Please review the comprehensive list of election do’s and don’ts and watch an informative video at dav.org/veterans/resources/election-year-dos-and-donts.
This year, in order to help presidential and congressional candidates and current lawmakers understand the critical challenges facing the veteran community, DAV launched its Vision for Veterans legislative priorities campaign. The initiative establishes seven priorities that reflect both the most urgent needs of veterans and the issues that will have serious, long-lasting impacts on those who served.
The Vision for Veterans offers a roadmap for every candidate seeking federal office, and all those currently in office, to help guide their decision-making process with the best interest of our nation’s heroes in mind. Please read and share the Vision for Veterans at dav.la/1l7.
We encourage you to be active in the political process and help to ensure candidates are well informed about the sacrifices veterans and their families have made in service to our country. But it’s also your duty when speaking on behalf of the organization (which includes speaking while wearing a hat or clothing with the DAV logo) to avoid even the appearance of favoring or opposing a particular candidate or party. During this and every campaign season, DAV members should be focused on achieving our key goal—ensuring lawmakers keep their promises to those who have served.
In the months ahead, I urge you to stay informed, stay engaged and exercise your right to vote. Sign up through davcan.org for important updates and stand ready to take action.