As 2016 takes hold, Election Day is fast approaching. Reciting the names of presidential campaigners might be easy, but determining the best person for the job is a bit convoluted.
Since electing President Obama, perhaps American consensus is that the US has transformed into a seemingly opposite Nation. And, the military is one quarry of the vagaries occurring in the District because of the Bush and Obama stints.
Latest poll results inundate the news, intentionally proving the point of a story as social media buzzes the conflicts of the day and Hashtags work through the wires, cleverly seeking to spark interest. The negativity is enough to exhaust anyone’s inner peace.
While tenaciously debating, candidates visit communities touting their vision of improvement, sarcastically jabbing each other’s embellishments – spending millions for your vote.
But, for the military, a review of a 2014 Federal Voting Assistance Program report shows that many soldiers and their families aren’t voting.
To flip voting stats, last November the Army kicked- off its world-wide Voting Season initiative to emphasize how important it is for service members to exercise their right to vote.
“It’s one day, worldwide, that units and installations ‘trigger’ everyone to start thinking about it. It’s our call-to-attention to voting season,” Rachel Gilman, Army voting action officer with U.S. Army Human Resources Command said. It is important for soldiers to vote because it’s one of the freedoms they defend.
Like their civilian counterparts, a new generation of military voters has emerged and they’ve no problem voicing opinion. Commanding Gen. X & Y voters see and experience the country differently, but mutually seek change.
Remember, when Obama took office, coming-of-age voters were just ten years old. For the military dependos who’ve become service members, they’ve spent the past 15 years saying goodbye to mothers, fathers- or both who’ve deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Many experiencing multiple deployments, PCS moves, cuts to benefits, the rise of military political correctness and being fast-tracked out of re-enlistment opportunities are thirsty for change.
Engulfed with Liberal, Independent, Conservative media views alike, news feeds covering the #election2016 confirm the importance of honest reporting- not all media are nonpartisan, and dirty data seems epidemic.
What tops the list of concerns for service members?
Fifteen years of war, Sequestration, healthcare, benefits, and retirement have impacted thousands of military families- all over the world.
Military leaders recognize the importance of the service member vote. Army Adjutant General, and senior service voting representative, Brig. Gen. James T. Iacocca says, “When I travel to our installations I meet with our VAOs (voting assistance officers) and reiterate the importance of making sure our soldiers and family members vote.”
What makes this election season so significant?
Elections at the national level decide military benefits and cuts, and this election, all 435 seats of the House of Representatives, 34 Senate seats and 14 governor races are in play- include local community issues, 2016 results could have important impacts in military communities- everywhere. Term Limits
“It is the job of the Voting Assistance Program to make registration, voting information and related materials and assistance readily available to all eligible Army voters.”
Join in as this Election Series explores each candidate- to date- Carson, Clinton, Cruz, Kaisach, Rubio, Sanders and Trump. All want to be Commander in Chief, most have had direct influence on what’s happened in the military community since 2001, and it’s crucial service members understand how.
Get assistance with registering: FEDERAL VOTING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM