Three interesting articles - Newsletter

Dear Georgia Vets and Vet Supporters,

As November 8th approaches, we find we are talking to others more about the election.  You probably are too.  Every wonder what to say?  We want to share some thoughts and ideas to consider when you talk to friends, family members or while canvassing or phone banking for Hillary Clinton.  It helps to know your audience and to be prepared.  
 
Know your Audience.  Are they friendly toward Clinton?  Hostile?  Mis-trustful or voting to stop Trump?  Try to find out.  If they are hostile, it’s likely a fruitless conversation.  Changing a mind rarely happens.  It’s the other 3 that are important to engage -their vote is important to winning in GA.  Often, just some sociable encouragement along with one or two good reasons to vote for Hillary is enough.  A recent endorsement in the Washington Post (read it here) has a great summary.  Here are some great reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton we’ve found speak to vets:

  • Experience - her life (both successes and learning from missteps) has been a continual series of stepping stones preparing her for the Presidency; as an active First Lady, two term (and popular) NY Senator and as Secretary of State.
  • Her colleagues in the Senate and State Department often describe her as someone who seeks out others, a great listener, willing to consider others’ opinions, highly respected by those she works with and world leaders alike.  
  • She’s determined, extremely hard working, a fighter and highly knowledgeable about every subject she expects to confront. 
  • Compassion and empathy for others describes her well, and is often seen in the private conversations she’s had with many Americans throughout her life.
  • She will fiercely fight for democracy, human rights, job growth and stabilizing the climate.

 
Does one of these resonate with you?  Something else that is your personal favorite?  Pick one, and find an example or two that mean something to you and may to others as well.
 
The Anti-Trump Vote.  What about those who are suspicious or worse about Trump?  Two long but highly informative pieces provide an insiders view to Donald Trump, from those who know him best.  
 
First, Tony Schwartz the “co-author” of Trump's book, “The Art of the Deal” has been interviewed numerous times and recounts more than a year glued to Trump’s side in this New Yorker interview.  Schwartz now says that he created a myth with this book and that he feels deeply remorseful for having done so.  Trump took this myth and used it to launch his presidential campaign.  Schwartz says he wrote the book solely for the money, and it apparently is the biggest regret of his life.  He got to know Trump very well in the 18 months he spent working on the book, and the idea of Trump as President terrifies him.  Read why here.
 
There is also an interview in Politico Magazine with 4 of Trump’s biographers.  Their insights into Donald Trump explain the odd behaviors we’ve seen and portray grave concerns for what he may do if either elected or loses the election.  They agree that Trump boasts about those things he is most insecure about – his wealth, his intellect, and his sex appeal.  Pointing out that men don’t brag about forcing themselves on women; confirming a personality not fit for the Presidency.  They continue stating (based on their observations) that Trump is likely to be a very dangerous man for the next few weeks as he claims that he is a victim and that the system is “rigged.” They  agree that everything Trump has done and said in this election was totally predictable and that what you’ve seen is the real Trump.  You can read their conversation here.
 
Read these if you have the time.  We especially recommend that those working in Field Offices read these 3 pieces.  
 
As you are well aware, this is a highly unusual election.  The stakes are high, emotions are higher, early voting has started, and getting to the polls to vote, both for Hillary Clinton and down ballot, is critical.  That’s why your conversations, help at field offices, making vets phone banks and all of the other work you do as a volunteer is so important.  You have our deep appreciation and thanks.  Your work, like your military service, is a proud and distinguishable effort.

Sincerely,

George Langford, Vince Farley, Jeff Joslin, Jon Keen
Co-Chairs, Georgia Veterans for Hillary

Veterans and Military Families Call Teams - Newsletter

Dear Georgia Veterans, Military Family Members and Vet Supporters,
 
With the election coming up in three weeks, attention is being focused on getting out the vote. Early voting begins in Georgia on October 17.  There are Hillary Field Offices throughout the state, including one near you.  All these offices have organized phone banking, often seven days a week, and would welcome you joining their phone banking teams – you can find the addresses and contact info for these offices on our website – www.georgiaveteransforhillary.com. If you cannot go to an office to phone bank, we suggest you check with the office in your area as they can most likely give you names of voters in your area to call. The Field Directors understand the importance of getting out the vet vote. Get out the vote calls of the campaign are focused on voters who may lean Democratic, but have not always voted so the call is a reminder of how important it is to vote.
 
In addition, Jon Murray is organizing vet phone banking on a nationwide scale – see his e-mail below.
 
You may have read that some voters may be discouraged about voting with so many charges floating in the internet and media worlds. This election is vitally important as it will determine if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be our next President and Commander in Chief.  Please go to our website for background papers which outline why Hillary will be an excellent Commander in Chief, while Donald has significant weaknesses in his very thin resume as regards his interest in national security affairs. Your voice as a vet or vet family member is a very important one, which is why phone banking by you to voters is so critically important.
 
Sincerely,
 
George Langford, Jon Keen, Jeff Joslin and Vince Farley
Co-Chairs, Georgia Veterans for Hillary

From: Jonathan Murray [mailto:veteransoutreach@victory2016.org
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 4:21 PM
To: Veterans Outreach
Subject: Veterans and Military Families Call Team

 

Friends -

 

For the last year, we've been busy spreading Secretary Clinton's comprehensive and thoughtful plans that will strengthen our national security and keep our commitment to our veterans and their families.  We've sent out videos, shared op-eds, and talked to our friends and neighbors during the primary. 

 

But now we're down to it. 28 days to go.  Everything that we've been working for comes down to this: Get Out The Vote (GOTV).  And there is absolutely nothing you can do that will help more than talk to voters and remind them to get to the polls.

 

That's why we're launching the Veterans and Military Families Call Team.  You can make calls right from your house as long as you have an internet connection and a phone.  To find out more, simply sign up here and we'll get you more information as soon as we're ready to launch, which will be within a matter of days. 

 

In the meantime, rest assured this is not the last time you'll be hearing about this - you should be receiving a follow up call or email from one of our volunteers soon.  Again, we need youOur call team will be competing with others around the country, and we want to make sure voters know that veterans and military families have Hillary's back.  

 

Thanks so much for everything you're doing, and let's bring this home for Hillary and for our country.

 

Jon Murray

Veterans and Military Families Outreach Director

Trump on post traumatic stress - Newsletter

Dear Georgia Veterans, Military Family Members and Vet Supporters,
 
Jon Murray, Hillary Veterans and Military Families Outreach Director, has sent us a message calling attention to Donald Trump’s recent statement suggesting that veterans with Post Traumatic Stress “are not strong.” This insulting statement is part of a pattern where Mr. Trump has repeatedly displayed, in direct language, his lack of respect for our active duty military, military families and veterans. We encourage readers of this message to click the “more proud” link in the message to hear Hillary Clinton’s statements on veterans and to go to our website for more details on Hillary’s proposals to strengthen our national security and her proposals to support veterans and their families.
 
We suggest you share this message with your fellow vets and family members as election day approaches.
 
Sincerely,
George Langford, Vince Farley, Jon Keen, Jeff Joslin
Co-Chairs, Georgia Veterans for Hillary

From: Jonathan Murray [mailto:veteransoutreach@victory2016.org
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2016 2:54 PM
To: Veterans Outreach
Subject: Trump on Post Traumatic Stress

 

Friends,

 

Honestly, I cannot remember an election cycle quite like this one.  In 2008 John McCain wouldn't allow a voter to malign then Senator Obama, telling her that he's a "decent, family man" that he just happens to have policy disagreements with.  In 2012, Mitt Romney basically disqualified himself by saying that 47% of Americans are dependent upon government and pay no income tax.

 

In 2016, we not only have a candidate whose surrogates have proudly said that Trump is a genius for not paying taxes, he also insulted Senator McCain and Prisoners of War, attacked a Gold Star Family, said our generals have been reduced to rubble, and said he "always wanted to get a purple heart" but it was much easier when a veteran handed him his own.  And now, just when you think he couldn't have gone any lower, he suggests that veterans with Post Traumatic Stress aren't strong.  

 

And yet Donald Trump is somehow still in this race, supported by a party that I don't even recognize anymore.  So...it comes down to us.  We have to stand up and make sure everyone knows where Donald Trump stands on issues that are not only important to veterans and military families, but to any American who recognizes the sacrifices made by this community every day. And it starts by sharing this video on facebook and twitter

 


If you want to see the reaction from the veterans community, see herehere, and here.  They are scathing, and the exact response that is needed.  Please also share these op-eds far and wide.  And how does Hillary Clinton talk about these issues?  I couldn't be more proud

 


Finally, tune in tonight at 9pm ET to watch the Vice Presidential debate.  Our very own Senator Tim Kaine will be holding Mike Pence responsible for Donald Trump's reckless comments, policies, and his record as Governor of Indiana. 

 

35 days to go - let's get out there and knock some doors, make some phone calls, and make sure the country knows that veterans and military families have Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine's back.

 

Thanks for all you do,

 

Jon Murray

Veterans and Military Families Outreach Director

@jmurray20 

We need your help - Newsletter

Dear Georgia Vets and Vet Supporters,

We need your help.  We are now entering the home stretch of the campaign (early voting starts October 17th).  That means we all need to make the most of the time remaining before election day.  The most effective way of getting vets and their families to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton (and stop Donald Trump) is contact that is vet to vet (including families).  Here’s how:  

Contact your local Field Organizer.  Tell them you are a vet (or Active Duty Service Member or family member) and want to help organize Vets. (see the list of Regional Field Directors at the end of this email.)

Write Letters to the Editor (LTE’s) to your local paper.  No experience required.  LTE’s are the most effective way to reach out to your community.  Just be yourself and write about why you are supporting Hillary Clinton (or fear a Trump Presidency).  Vets have a valued perspective on National Security, Foreign Policy and Military issues (including VA medical, and troop support).  We also understand the leadership and temperament required in a good leader.  It is vitally important that the trusted words of vets are heard throughout Georgia. One letter can literally be read by hundreds of readers (or in larger markets – thousands).  Do you need help with a Letter to the Editor?  Learn more about that here (www.georgiaveteransforhillary.com).  

Do you live in either Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett or Fulton County?  We need vets/vet family members to fill leadership roles in vet to vet phone banking operations ASAP.  Contact Vince Farley (Vincefarley@bellsouth.net).

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are diametric opposites in so many ways, and one will be our next President and Commander in Chief.  We hope you will join our work to make Hillary the winner in Georgia and throughout the country.  We greatly appreciate your help and support.

Sincerely,

George Langford, Vince Farley, Jeff Joslin, Jon Keen
Co-Chairs, Georgia Veterans for Hillary

Regional Field Directors:

ALBANY:  Field Director Bryan Zulko, 407 S. Slappy Blvd, Albany, GA 31701; bryan@georgiademocrat.org; tel: 281-961-1263.  Counties covered by this office: Dougherty, Baker, Clay, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Lee, Lowndes, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, Webster.
 
ATHENS:  Field Director Max Doty, 1063 Baxter Street, Suite B, Athens, GA 30606; max@georgiademocrat.org; tel: 860-335-8722. Counties covered by this office: Clarke, Banks, Barrow, Elbert, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Greene, Habersham, Hart, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Morgan, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Rabun, Stephens, Taliaferro, Towns, Union, Walton, White.
 
AUGUSTA:  Field Director Joey Tarina, 1054 Claussen Rd., August, GA 30907; joey@georgiademocrat.org; tel: 706-830-3735.  Counties covered by this office: Richmond, Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Screven, Warren, Wilkes.
 
CLAYTON/HENRY:  Field Director Alaina Reaves, 147 Jonesboro Rd., McDonough, GA 30253; alaina@georgiademocrat.org; tel: 404-955-3776.  Counties covered by this office: Clayton, Henry, Butts, Coweta, Fayette, Lamar, Pike, Spalding.
 
COLUMBUS:  Field Director Patricia Lassiter, 3740 Macon Rd., Columbus, GA 31707; patricia@georgiademocrat.org; tel: 706-332-9329.  Counties covered by this office: Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Dooley, Harris, Heard, Macon, Meriwhether, Talbott, Taylor, Troup.
 
MACON:  Field Director El-Mahdi Holly, 439 Third St., Suite 101, Macon, GA 31201; holly@georgiademocrat.org; tel: 478-305-7744.  Counties covered by this office: Bibb, Baldwin, Bleckley, Crawford, Hancock, Houston, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Laurens, Monroe, Peach, Putnam, Twiggs, Upson, Washington, Wilkinson.
 
SAVANNAH: Field Director Justin Pitts, 105 Wheeler Ct., Suite 200, Savannah, GA 31405; justin@georgiademocrat.org; tel: 478-278-6959.  Counties covered by this office:  Chatham, Appling, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Ware, Wayne.

Hillary on the Issues: Veterans, the armed forces, and their families

Source: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/veterans/

I believe in making sure that people who sacrifice for us are given all the care and the benefits and support that they need. And I believe strongly that taking care of our veterans is part of our solemn duty as Americans.

Hillary, June 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton’s father, Hugh Rodham, was a chief petty officer at Naval Station Great Lakes during World War II. He instilled in Hillary at an early age the importance of supporting our men and women in uniform, as well as military families and veterans—and an empathy for the challenges that many servicemembers and veterans face.

Hillary believes that by supporting our veterans, we strengthen our military, our economy, and our country. She knows that we cannot separate supporting our veterans from our broader commitment to take care of our troops—soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen—and their families.

To support our veterans and ensure they have the opportunities and tools they need to succeed upon returning home, Hillary will:

  • Fundamentally reform veterans’ health care to ensure access to timely and high quality care and block efforts to privatize the VA—including improving health care for women at the VHA, ending the veteran suicide epidemic, and continuing efforts to identify and treat invisible, latent, and toxic wounds of war that affect veterans, family members, and caregivers after their service.
  • Build a 21st-century Department of Veterans Affairs to deliver world-class care.Hillary was outraged by the recent scandals at the VA, and as president, she will demand accountability and performance from VA leadership. Many veterans have to wait an unacceptably long time to see a doctor or to process disability claims and appeals. Hillary will make the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) a seamless partner in health care. She does not believe that privatization will solve the problems that the VHA is facing—this department must deliver high-quality care while acting as an integrated payer-purchaser and facilitating a full range of services for all veterans, regardless of where they live.
  • Empower veterans and strengthen our economy and communities by connecting their unique skills to the jobs of the future. Hillary will make the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill a lasting part of our social contract with those who serve, expand tax credits for veterans’ employment, improve certification and credentialing programs, strengthen veteran entrepreneurship programs, and create pathways for servicemembers to enter growing career fields. She will also protect veterans from discrimination and predatory companies and work to end veteran homelessness.
  • Overhaul VA governance to create a new veteran-centric model of excellence by creating a culture of accountability, service, and excellence at the VA; providing budgetary certainty; and ensuring our veterans are buried with the honor, distinction, and integrity they deserve.

Read the fact sheet

Our military families serve alongside our men and women in uniform. To strengthen services and support for military families, Hillary will:

  • Realign the demands of a military career to accommodate 21st-century family realities while maintaining a strong force by enabling more flexibility in military careers and giving servicemembers and their families a greater say in their lives. That includes increasing access to child care both on and off the base, maintaining a commitment to to extended leave policies, and more.
  • Back military spouses as they pursue education, seek jobs, build careers and secure their finances by expanding spousal employment support and training initiatives while in service and during transition.
  • Ensure military children receive a high-quality education and the resources to succeed by improving military schools, enhancing the experience of military children in public schools, and ensuring key benefits are available for all military families.

Read the fact sheet

And to keep our military strong and resilient, Hillary will:

  • Sustain and strengthen the all-volunteer force, including the reserve and National Guard. Hillary will support smart compensation and benefits reform; adopt inclusive personnel policies, including aggressively combating military sexual assault and harassment; welcome women to compete for all military positions; and allow transgender Americans to serve openly in the military. Learn more here.

Trump’s History of Disrespect for Veterans and Military Families

With Donald Trump delivering remarks this morning at the American Legion convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, and despite his occasional lip service on the trail, Trump continually has disrespected our veterans and our military for decades.

From firing employees because of their military service, to lying about donations to veterans’ charities, to scamming veterans through Trump University, here’s a refresher on some of Trump’s most offensive statements and positions regarding veterans and military families:

Trump has attacked veterans and military families, including a Gold Star family.
 

NYT: Donald Trump criticizes Muslim family of slain U.S. soldier, drawing ire. “Donald J. Trump belittled the parents of a slain Muslim soldier who had strongly denounced Mr. Trump during the Democratic National Convention, saying that the soldier’s father had delivered the entire speech because his mother was not “allowed” to speak.”

 

BuzzFeed: Trump: My position on keeping terrorists out is what bothered Khizr Khan. “Trump has faced backlash from Republicans and Democrats over his remarks but has continued to attack the Khans.”


And when Trump was done, his campaign and allies continued the attack.

 

Stephen Bannon: “No, we’re not going to get off Khizr Kahn, we’re going to stay on this guy. We’re going to stay on this relentlessly.”

 

NH1: A top trump veterans adviser tells NH1 News Khizr Khan has ‘disgraced his son: “State Rep. Al Baldasaro, a top New Hampshire adviser to Donald Trump on veterans issues, says that Khizr Khan has 'disgraced' his son and 'used him as a political pawn.'"


Trump has also profited from ripping off veterans and military families, and his businesses have fired employees because of their military service.

  • Huffington Post: Trump Institute fired veteran for ‘absences’ after he was deployed to Afghanistan. “Wright was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2007. When he came home to his job, the Trump Institute fired him. “All of your absences,” Wright’s boss at the Trump Institute told him, had forced the company to “reevaluate your position with the Trump Institute.” It is a violation of federal law to penalize an employee for absences caused by military service.”
  • CNN: Iraq war veteran claims Trump University fired her for serving in the Army Reserve. “Corrine Sommers, who worked for Trump University for five months, sued Trump University after she was dismissed in October 2007. She reached a confidential settlement in that case. But she later alleged that she was fired because of her military service in a November 2012 deposition she gave in a federal class action suit that accused the school of fraud. That deposition was unsealed this week.”
  • Huffington Post: Third Veteran Dumped By Trump Because Of Military Service: “Yet in at least three cases, Trump’s companies have either fired, or refused to hire, military reservists because of the time commitments demanded of them by their service in the armed forces.”
  • TIME: What the legal battle over Trump University reveals about its founder. “The records indicate, for example, that Trump University collected approximately $40 million from its students–who included veterans, retired police officers and teachers–and that Trump personally received approximately $5 million of it”
  • CNN: 40-year Navy veteran scammed out of $26,000 by Trump University
  • The Daily Beast: Trump University’s star student: ‘it was a con.’ “'It was a lie,' said Maddings, an ex-marine now 32, who told The Daily Beast that he racked up around $45,000 in credit card debt to buy Trump University seminars and products. [...]'[Trump University] was a con. I’m 25-years-old, barely making $3,000 a month and they told me to increase my credit limit. I just maxed out three credit cards and I’m supposed to be able to qualify for loans to buy real estate? Those stupid principles have led me to borrow $700,000 of other people’s money and lose it all. I’m still paying off some of that debt to this day.”

Trump has also repeatedly lied about donating to veteran charities.

  • Mother Jones: Donald Trump tried to cheat veterans out of $1 Million. “Donald Trump tried to cheat veterans out of $1 million: “ I want to make this simple. Here’s what Donald Trump did recently: He pledged $1 million to help veterans; he tried to weasel out of it for months and hoped no one would notice; and when he finally got caught, he ponied up grudgingly and insulted the reporter who caught him.”
  • Washington Post: Four months after fundraiser, Trump says he gave $1 million to veterans group.“Trump also said he had never actually promised that the fundraiser had raised $6 million. ‘I didn’t say six,’ Trump said. In a video of the event, Trump tells the crowd at the end, ‘We just cracked $6 million! Right? $6 million.’ When asked about that quote, Trump said, ‘Well, I don’t. I don’t have the notes. I don’t have the tape of it.’"
  • CNN: Trump’s website boasts that he gave $1 million to the 1995 Nation’s Day Parade, but the event’s organizer said that’s about three times more than he actually gave.
  • CNN: "After signing a deal to launch his brand of vodka, Trump went on CNN's 'Larry King Live' in 2006 and described the venture, saying, 'I'm giving the money to charity.' […] the vodka company sent multiple press releases stating it would donate sales proceeds to the Walter Reed Society, a charity supporting programs at Walter Reed Hospital. The charity's administrator tells CNN the donations amounted to about 'a few hundred dollars.'"

Trump also attempted multiple times to kick disabled veteran street vendors off Fifth Avenue, near the home of Trump Tower.

  • NYDN: “Do we allow Fifth Ave., one of the world’s finest and most luxurious shopping districts, to be turned into an outdoor flea market, clogging and seriously downgrading the area?”
  • NY Post: Trump to Mayor: Boot fifth ave peddlers: “Whether they are veterans or not, they should not be allowed to sell on this most important and prestigious shopping street… I hope you can stop this very deplorable situation before it is too late.”

Trump signaled he wants to privatize the VA and that he opposed the post-9/11 GI bill.

  • WSJ: Donald Trump adviser signals plan to change veterans’ health care. “While short on details, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee would likely push VA health care toward privatization and might move for it to become more of an insurance provider like Medicare rather than an integrated hospital system, said Sam Clovis, Mr. Trump’s chief policy adviser, in an interview.”

He’s disrespected prisoners of war like Senator John McCain…

  • Trump on Sen. John McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured, ok? I hate to tell you.”
  • BuzzFeed: Trump: I Don’t Regret McCain Comments, My Poll Numbers Went Up

...compared his own “struggles” to the true sacrifices of those who serve our country

  • Trump said that despite never serving our country, he “always felt that I was in the military” because he was sent to a military-themed boarding school.

...and after a veteran even gave Trump his coveted purple heart to which Trump responded:

Ultimately, Trump has shown he is completely unfit to serve as commander in chief.

  • Last year, Trump downplayed the dangers of war with modern technology, claiming that if an armored Humvee is hit with an explosive, our soldiers just “go for a little ride upward and they come down.”

Trump said earlier this year that our military is a “disaster.” Later on, at a campaign rally in Delaware, he went as far as to say that our military is in "shambles" and that it needed rebuilding

Georgia Veterans for Hillary - Newsletter

Dear Georgia Veteran, family member of vets, supporter of vets,
 
You are receiving this e-mail because you are on our Georgia Veterans United mailing list. We created Georgia Veterans for Obama in 2008, converted to Georgia Veterans for Martin, then to Georgia Veterans United, back to Georgia Veterans for Obama in 2012 and then back to Georgia Veterans United. Our group brought together hundreds of vets, vet family members and supporters of vets.  Today, we are transforming our group to Georgia Veterans for Hillary (www.georgiaveteransforhillary.com).
 
We hope you agree that Hillary Clinton has the experience, temperament and judgment to be an excellent Commander in Chief, while Donald Trump lacks all these attributes and more. Or, as George Shultz said last week when asked about a President Trump – “God help us.” If you go to the Hillary website ( www.HillaryClinton.com ), you will find that she has articulated a comprehensive series of concrete ideas on how she intends to strengthen our national security and advance programs that are critical to our vets. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has said he would order soldiers to torture prisoners and to kill the family members of terrorists. He has belittled John McCain as not being a war hero because he had been captured and described his high school years at the NY Military Academy as it “felt that I was in the military.” He showed his utter contempt for Gold Star parents who had lost a son in Iraq and then responded to criticism of him by stating that “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices…. I work very very hard. I’ve created thousands of jobs.”
 
In 2008, the Obama campaign gave us data which showed that there were 762,000 vets in Georgia – 18.2 % of Georgia voters. The metro Atlanta area was about 11 % vets, while in many counties in the rest of the state the percentage was close to 25 %. If you concur that perhaps each vet family has a vet plus two other adults (father, mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, etc.)in the family, then this group is 54.6 % of all voters in Georgia. In 2008, we developed excellent Georgia Veterans for Obama groups in Columbus, Macon, Warner Robbins, Dublin, Athens, Augusta, Brunswick, St. Mary’s and in many other parts of the state. In Augusta, for example, an initial three or four vets built a core group of 40 – 50 vets and family members who supported the campaign.
 
We believe that the vets, family members, and supporters of vets vote will be critical to a Hillary victory in Georgia. In 2008, the median age of vets in Georgia was 59, but undoubtedly the median age is now lower in view of the significant participation of Georgians in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are building a base of veterans, family members and supporters of vets who will work with Hillary and Democratic Party offices that are being set up throughout the state. We are co-chairs of the Georgia Veterans for Hillary campaign - we want to create a State wide steering committee and strong groups throughout the state. Please respond to this message if you want to join our steering committee and/or to build a veterans for Hillary group in your county, city or town.
 
We are working with the national Hillary Veterans and family members group. Below is an August 23 mailing from Jonathan Murray, Veterans and Military Families Outreach Director for the Hillary campaign, in which he announces organizing watch parties for the Commander in Chief Forum which will be broadcast on NBC on September 7. Please let us know if you want to work to organize a watch party in your county.
 
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are diametric opposites in so many ways, and one will be our next President and Commander in Chief.  We hope you will join our work to elect Hillary.
 
George Langford, Vince Farley, Jon Keen
Co-Chairs, Georgia Veterans for Hillary


From: Jonathan Murray [mailto:jmurray@victory2016.org
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 2:05 PM
To: Veterans Outreach
Subject: IAVA Commander in Chief Forum

Friends,

The choice in this election couldn't be more clear: In Hillary Clinton we have a former First Lady, Senator who sat on the Armed Services Committee, and Secretary of State. In Donald Trump we have someone who has consistently said such outlandish things about our country's veterans, the military, and foreign policy, it has led countless members of his own party calling him unfit to be president.  He doesn't have the temperament to keep us safe, and all it takes is just one wrong move

On September 7th, those differences will be on full display at the Commander in Chief Forum, sponsored by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.  Televised on NBC during prime time, Hillary will show that she has the experience necessary to walk into the Oval Office and provide the steady leadership that this country deserves on day one.  Donald Trump, on the other hand, will get a chance to explain how he "knows more about ISIS than the generals do," why he only likes veterans who don't become Prisoners of War, and why he feels the need to attack Gold Star Families.  

Host a forum watch party!

We're holding forum watch parties all across the country, and we need your help!  

Send an email to veteransoutreach@victory2016.org and we'll get you set up with an event link on hillaryclinton.com and a forum watch party kit.  

We want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to see Hillary Clinton prove why she's ready to be the next president, and watch Donald Trump continue to fumble and flop his way to November - so invite your friends, family, and co-workers over and watch together!

Thanks for all you do,

Jon

Veterans and Military Families Outreach Director

See you at the Capitol: A Promise Kept Day

Dear Georgia Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Supporters of Veterans,

We are very excited to announce "A Promise Kept Day" at the Capitol. This is an opportunity for Veterans and Military Families to engage in the legislative process, making their voice and support known to law makers. During this session the House is considering six pieces of legislation that take the necessary steps to improve the quality of life for military families, ensure better educational outcomes for military children, and reduce professional obstacles for spouses of military personnel. Read about the legislation here.

You can find more information in the flyer below. Please make sure to RSVP here.

Let us know if you have any questions.

 

Thank you for your service and support,
Vince, George, and Jon


Veterans and Military Families Supporting Candidates

Dear Georgia Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Supporters of Veterans,

As the campaigns are now in full swing, many of us are looking for opportunities to get involved. We have reached out to all of the candidates within the Democratic Party to try and identify how they plan to engage with Veterans and Military Families. So far the Hillary For America campaign has provided information. A personal message from Jon Murray, the Veterans and Military Families Outreach Director, is below.


Please let us know if you have information on the other campaigns. We will keep you updated as we receive more information.
 

Thank you for your service and support,
Vince, George, and Jon


Vets for Hillary.jpg



Hello Georgia Veterans United  - 
 

I'd like to quickly introduce myself as the Veterans and Military Families Outreach Director here at HFA.  I know you'll be inviting the other presidential campaigns to reach out to you as well, so first and foremost, thank you so much for the opportunity to email you today.  

I honestly cannot tell you how honored I am to be on the team helping to make Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States.

I served in the Marine Corps from 1997-2001.  I served under Secretary Clinton with USAID in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011-2012.  And I can tell you unequivocally that Hillary is by far the best person to lead this country next.  

  • Her record of fighting for veterans speaks for itself.  She worked across the aisle with Lindsay Graham to expand military health benefits, and worked with John McCain to take care of the wounded coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq
  • She understands that there are systemic problems at the VA and that the scandals that happened in Phoenix and elsewhere will never happen again.  But she'll also fight tooth and nail against efforts to privatize the VA and won't allow our veterans health care to be auctioned off to the lowest bidder
  • Hillary is the only candidate in this race, on both sides of the aisle, that has hired a full time staffer to reach out to Veterans and Military Families and make sure they are a centerpiece of her campaign

On November 10th, we rolled out Secretary Clinton's full Veterans and Military Families policy, which you can find here, and have launched a signup form here: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/vamfsignup

Thanks again for the opportunity, and look forward to speaking with many of you in the future.  

Semper Fidelis,

Jon Murray

Check Out "A Promise Kept"

Dear Georgia Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Supporters of Veterans,

We thought this initiative recently launched by the Georgia House Democratic Caucus would be of interest. As members tour the State, we hope you will choose to participate and share your thoughts on how to improve the care and support of Veterans.

We will keep you updated on the specific events as we hear more.

GEORGIA HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS LAUNCHES "A PROMISE KEPT" INITIATIVE AND WEBSITE IN SUPPORT OF VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES

The Georgia House Democratic Caucus announces "A Promise Kept," a new initiative in support of veteran and military families in the state of Georgia.
Georgia is home to 10 active military installations, more than 750,000 veterans, and over 105,000 active duty military personnel and civilians, but our veteran and military families often still lack the resources they need to thrive.

Georgia lags behind several of its southern neighbors like South Carolina when it comes to fulfilling the Department of Defense's ten key metrics for creating the best environment for military families possible. The “A Promise Kept” initiative aims at fulfilling our obligation to Georgia’s military families and veterans. 

Over the next several months and throughout the upcoming 2016 legislative session and beyond, members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus will travel across our state listening to critical issues faced by Georgia veterans and military families – from consumer protection, healthcare and employment to housing, childhood education, and workforce development – in order to improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform and their families.
 
Legislation will be filed in the coming weeks, centered both around known issues facing the military community as well as those learned about through statewide testimony.
 
Visit the website here:

www.apromisekeptga.com

“Georgia military families and veterans make enormous sacrifices to serve our country and they are integral to the economic future of our state, but we must do more to support them,” said Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. “We can and must take the necessary steps to ensure that these families are stronger, healthier, and more economically secure.” 
 
“We need to work harder as a state to protect our military bases and ensure that military families have access to the opportunities they work so hard to protect – a good education, quality health care, a well-paying job, and a secure place in our middle class,” said Representative Al Williams, Veteran. 
 
“Georgia plays a critical role in our nation’s defense and is the home to strategically important military bases. We need to share our story about the great work that is happening at our installations,” said Representative Scott Holcomb, Veteran who served with the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
 
 "As a veteran and military family member, I am proud of our Democratic leaders for taking on this initiative. This is a critical time to support the needs of our returning veterans and to build upon Georgia's support for our military communities. By listening first to veterans and military families across the state, they are taking the right approach. I hope all members of our military community will participate,” said Jon Keen, Co-Chair of Georgia Veterans United. 
 
BACKGROUND:
 
Georgia has a significant military population. With over 70,000 active duty military personnel and 35,000 military civilians, Georgia's active military population is the 5th largest in the United States.  [Governing.com, August 2013]
 
Georgia is home to over 750,000 veterans, yet many veterans are falling in to a healthcare coverage gap. By expanding Medicaid, Georgia can provide an estimated 25,000 veterans with access to affordable healthcare and create over 56,000 new jobs, many of which could be filled by returning veterans in fields such as healthcare and transportation. [US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, September 2014] [Understanding Medicaid in Georgia and the Opportunity to Improve It,September 2015]
 
Georgia’s military bases serve as economic engines for the state and account for $21.4 billion annually in economic impact. In the Augusta area Fort Gordon creates approximately 54,000 military, civilian and community jobs with an estimated annual economic impact is over $2.3 billion. In the Columbus area Fort Benning generates about $5.5 billion in annual economic impact. Georgia’s military bases also generate millions of dollars annually for local school districts in impact aid. [CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon, October 2015] [GrowBenning.com, October 2015]
 
Fort Benning is the largest employer in the Columbus region. At Fort Benning nearly 14,000 soldiers and civilian employees sport a buying power of roughly $627 million annually. That’s more than 4,000 more jobs and about $50 million more in buying power than Columbus’ three largest private employers combined. [GrowBenning.com, October 2015]
 
Military members in the Augusta region volunteer regularly in local community service. In the Augusta area, Fort Gordon service members, civilian employees, and their family members volunteer over 5,000 hours annually in local schools, food banks, and other community endeavors. [CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon, October 2015]
 
Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield are large employers and drive economic activity in Coastal Georgia. With an annual economic impact of $4.9 billion, the largest military installation east of the Mississippi River — Fort Stewart — and Hunter Army Airfield have a large impact on the economic health of Coastal Georgia and the Savannah area. Together Fort Stewart and Hunter AAF are major employers, with over 23,000 officers and enlisted military and over 4,000 civilians employed at both installations. [Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, October 2015]
 
Legislative inaction threatens the viability of Georgia’s ten military bases and surrounding communities. As a looming Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round threatens to shutter and merge military bases nationwide, Georgia could stand to lose substantial numbers of military and civilian jobs, not to mention revenue. Implementing all ten of the Department of Defense’s recommendations to protect and support military families could prevent a base closure. Georgia lawmakers have the opportunity to pass legislation to protect our bases and the livelihoods of the men, women, and families who serve and have served our state and country. [GrowBenning.com, October 2015] [Department of Defense]
 
Georgia has not fulfilled the Department of Defense’s recommendations to protect military families from predatory lending.Georgia currently prohibits or tightly regulates payday lending, vehicle title loans, and tax refund loans. However there are currently loopholes that leave military families vulnerable. We can fix this by updating our laws and enabling our agencies to coordinate with the federal government to stop and prevent predatory lending that targets military families. [Department of Defense]
 
Georgia employees serving in a neighboring state's national guard are not guaranteed employment protection if they are called upon to serve. While our neighbors currently offer employment protections for Georgia National Guard members working in their state, Georgia does not guarantee the same in the event of a state-sponsored activation. [Department of Defense]
 
Georgia has not implemented the Department of Defense’s recommendations regarding child welfare. The Department of Defense recommends improving educational outcomes for military children by creating a unique identifier to monitor the attendance and academic progress of children of military families when they enter our public education system. In addition, Georgia can assist the Department of Defense in developing policy and military child education initiatives to benefit this unique population. [Department of Defense]
 
Georgia can revise state law to allow our state agencies to collect military status as part of child protective services (CPS) investigations. The federal Department of Defense is required by law to look after the welfare of military families and children. Revising state law to collect military status would allow Georgia to share information with the DoD. Currently only two states participate in this process. [Department of Defense]

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Thank you for your service and support,
Vince, George, and Jon

Veteran's Day 2015

Dear Georgia Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Supporters of Veterans,

It is with deep gratitude and appreciation that we extend our thanks to our Veterans for their service to our country.  You may have served in peacetime, in harm's way, or under grueling conditions.  Most importantly you did it with pride and with the intent to protect something precious: the rights and freedoms of all Americans.

On this day, we also seek to find solutions to the challenges that our Veterans and their families face. We hope that you will take a few minutes to read the post below by our Co-Chair and then get engaged by reaching out to your Senators and Congressman. 

As always, thank you for your service and support. 

Support Georgia veterans through tax credits that work

Veterans Day should be about more than a chance to get a good deal on a new flat screen TV, although there's nothing wrong with getting a bargain. 

Congress is debating two tax credits that make a big difference in the lives of military families:  the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). These are targeted, pro-work tax benefits that help millions of families nationwide afford basics and move into the middle class. Read more.

Tax credits that go a long way in supporting Georgia vets may be at risk

Dear Georgia Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Supporters of Veterans,

As we begin this long weekend in celebration of the birth of our country and all of those who have served to make this celebration possible, we ask that you consider an important issue with the potential to significantly affect Georgia veterans and military families. 
 
An estimated 86,000 military families in Georgia, including both active-duty personnel and veterans, receive either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the low-income component of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), two highly effective federal benefits that support working families as they try to reach the middle class. But about 46,000 of these families will lose some or all of these tax credits unless Congress saves key provisions of the EITC and CTC that will otherwise expire at the end of 2017. 


The tax credits keep around 7,500 military families in Georgia, including 16,000 children, out of poverty and return billions of dollars back into the pockets of Georgians and our local economy. In 2013, 1,084,450 Georgia tax filers (28 % of filers) claimed the EITC and 821,399 Georgia tax filers (21 % of filers) claimed the refundable part of the CTC.  These programs are essential to working families across Georgia.

These two credits are only available to people who work. Both are designed to help working families trying to pull themselves out of poverty into the middle class. Each reinforces the idea that work is better than welfare and, partly as a result, they enjoy a long history of bipartisan support.

For military families these two credits have proven to be an essential support. Nationwide, roughly 2 million military families, including about 2.6 million children under age 18, currently receive one or both of the credits. Together, they keep more than 100,000 American military families from falling below the poverty line.

Current and former troops, plus their families, have made incredible sacrifices to help keep us safe and we owe it to them to ensure they can make ends meet. With some of the largest populations of people with military connections in the country, Georgia’s congressional delegation can play a key role in making sure we pay that debt. Congress should ensure that these important tax credits, including the recent improvements, remain safeguards against poverty for years to come.

In the coming months, Congress will likely act on other tax issues, providing a small window for policymakers to make permanent recent improvements to the Earned Income and Child Tax Credit provisions as part of an overall tax package. If the EITC and CTC are not included in any resulting tax deal this year, it is likely to become much harder to persuade Congress to act on the credits via a stand-alone measure in 2016 or 2017. 

For more background on the credits and their importance to military families across the country, click here: http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/pro-work-tax-credits-help-2-million-veteran-and-military-households

We need to make sure that all members of Congress hear a strong voice from veterans on this issue and we want them to take a lead to save these important credits and their recent improvements. 

Opportunities for Engagement

1. Write or call your Congressman to express your strong support to save the working family tax credits that impact so many of our fellow Georgia veterans, military servicemen and women and their families. 

Find contact information for your Congressman HERE or feel free to EMAIL US for assistance

2. Write or call Senators Isakson and Perdue, especially Senator Isakson as he is chair of the Senate Veterans Committee, to express your strong support to save the working family tax credits that impact so many of our fellow Georgia veterans, military servicemen and women and their families.

Senator Isakson: EMAIL or Phone (202-224-3643)
Senator Purdue: EMAIL or Phone (202-224-3521)
 
3. Interested in writing a letter to the editor, op-ed or getting more involved in this effort? Please EMAIL US to receive special communications and follow-up on this topic.

 

Thank you for dedicating time and energy to this important issue,
Vince, George, and Jon

Veterans Town Hall Meetings w/ Congressman Bishop and Secretary McDonald

Dear Georgia Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Supporters of Veterans,
 
Please take advantage of this great opportunity to have candid discussion with Congressman Sanford Bishop and VA Secretary Bob McDonald. The flyer below provides detailed information on the times and locations. 

Let us know if you plan to attend and post your thoughts to Twitter or Facebook during and after the discussion.

Town Halls

Remembering Commissioner Wheeler

Dear Georgia Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Supporters of Veterans,
 
Georgia has lost an iconic veteran. Commissioner Pete Wheeler served the veterans of this State for Sixty-five (65) years.  He was a great friend of our organization. 

Commissioner Pete Wheeler, 1922-2015

Commissioner Pete Wheeler, leader of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service since 1954, died peacefully surrounded by family in the early morning, Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

Wheeler joined the GDVS in 1949 as director of the education division. In 1951 he was named assistant director of the department and served in that capacity until his appointment as the department’s director (title later changed to Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Service) on June 26, 1954.

Fifteen reappointments later, Commissioner Wheeler was still in charge.

A decline in his health forced him to take a prolonged medical leave beginning in late 2014, but Commissioner Wheeler remained active. While delegating some day-to-day responsibilities, he nonetheless stayed on top of department business through daily phone calls with his assistants. He was adamant he would return to the office as soon as his physicians allowed.

For 66 years, he was a steadfast public servant and unswerving advocate for all veterans. Throughout his career, Commissioner Wheeler was a respected leader in the veterans community, whose experience and expertise was recognized and called upon at the national level.

Shortly after his appointment to lead the GDVS in 1954, Commissioner Wheeler joined the effort to recognize the new federal holiday, Veterans Day. He was named Georgia Chairman of the National Veterans Day Committee and in that capacity, together with Governor Herman Talmadge, he arranged a formal proclamation signing ceremony declaring the new holiday in Georgia. This proclamation signing became a tradition in the state, unbroken to this day; 2014 marked the first year Commissioner Wheeler was unable to attend.

In 1966, responding to the needs of the first veterans returning from the Vietnam War, as well as their families and survivors, Commissioner Wheeler created the Supermarket of Veterans Benefits, a one-day informational event designed to bring together every local, state, and federal agency providing service to veterans. The hugely successful program became an annual signature event of the GDVS, and the concept has been copied throughout the nation.

He was appointed chairman of the National World War II Memorial Advisory Board by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and served until the memorial’s dedication with President George W. Bush in 2004. He was a past president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs and remained active in that group throughout his career. He was a life member of the American Legion, DAV, and AMVETS, and a lifetime honorary member of the Atlanta World War II Roundtable.

Commissioner Wheeler was a proud graduate of the University of Georgia. He was a member of Kappa Sigma and was awarded that fraternity’s lifetime achievement award. He was an attorney, admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1949 and admitted to practice before all state and federal courts.

A World War II veteran of the United States Army, Commissioner Wheeler joined the Georgia National Guard in 1950 and retired in 1978 at the rank of brigadier general.

In 1998, the General Assembly issued a resolution renaming the state’s war veterans memorial complex as the “Pete Wheeler Georgia War Veterans Memorial Complex.” Overseen by the GDVS and the Georgia Building Authority, the complex includes memorials to Georgia veterans from the Spanish-American War through Desert Storm/Desert Shield. Earlier this year, Commissioner Wheeler approved the design for the next addition, a memorial honoring those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan; it will be dedicated May 20.

Commissioner Wheeler was honored so frequently that a comprehensive list of his awards is difficult to compile. A few of the highlights include:

  • Inducted into the inaugural class (2013) of the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame, for Dedicated Service
  • Recipient of the Silver Helmet Award, presented by AMVETS
  • Recipient of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge George Washington Honor Medal
  • Recipient of the American Legion Gold Honor Medal
  • Recipient of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Silver and Gold Medals of Merit
  • Recipient of the Patrick Henry Award, presented by the National Guard Association of the United States
  • Recipient of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Recipient of the Atlanta USO’s Patriot of the Year Award for 2011
  • Honored with “Play it Again Pete,” an annual golf tournament sponsored by the Military Order of the Purple Heart National Service Foundation to raise money for the Atlanta VA Medical Center’s Homeless Veterans Program.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Geraldine; and a daughter, Jane Watkins. Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Frances and Mark Jones of Atlanta; son and daughter-in-law, Peter B. “Chip” and Debbie Wheeler of Lawrenceville; son-in-law, John Watkins of Snellville; and six grandchildren, Matthew Wheeler, Joshua Watkins, Joanna Watkins, Alex Jones, Charles Jones, and Jonathan Jones.

Happy Veterans Day!

11 November 2014

Georgia Veterans,

It is with deep gratitude and appreciation that we extend our thanks to you for your service to our country.  You may have served in peacetime, in harm's way, or under grueling conditions.  Most importantly you did it with pride and with the intent to protect something precious: the rights and freedoms of all Americans. 

Georgia has hundreds of thousands of vets like you, living in every Georgia city, mountain hamlet, across our beautiful plains and farmlands, along our serene coast and in hundreds of small towns across this great state.  Vets are the pillars of our communities, leading at home as they did during their years of distinguished service.  Vets are the backbone of our workforce, hard working, committed and stable, providing the bedrock of support for Georgia's industries and farms.  We also have vets that need our compassion, living in Georgia without homes and/or healing from wounds suffered in wars of the past, the past decades as well as the past year.  Vets are important, vital members of our communities, daily reminding us of the sacrifices made on our behalf to protect the way of life Americans cherish.  Vets fill our fondest memories: friends lost, colleagues gone and family members whose loss we will forever mourn.

Your service and that of your fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have ensured that the special and unique way of life Americans enjoy endures here in Georgia.  We thank you for your service and hold you in the highest esteem today and always. 

Happy Veterans Day.

Georgia Veterans United Steering Committee

Vince Farley | George Langford | Jeff Joslin | Jon Keen