American Veterans Vote


August 1, 2023

Our Strategic Goals

  Support Veterans and their Families

  Defend our Constitution as Written and Amended

  Protect the Nation at Home and Abroad 

From the CEO

We Are Veterans, Influencers, and Voters

“Grandpa told me not to join!” “Mom doesn’t think I’ll be safe!” “Dad says he doesn’t recognize his Navy!” “Coach never served.” “I’ve never met a Marine.”


Our popular press has discovered, again, the recruiting challenges facing the all-volunteer military. And, in typical fashion, DoD and the services with their respective recruiting commands turn primarily to remedies focused on external factors influencing the “low propensity” of American’s youth to enlist. Labor market competition, out of date marketing models, obesity and health issues, low educational scores, social ills within the military, pay disparities, and, of course, the pandemic…all relevant influences to consider. 

Bob Wood

CEO, American Veterans Vote

LTG (R), US Army

"...DoD and political leaders must accept the fact that the large majority of these Veterans are older, more conservative, and unaccepting of “nonsense” arguments and social “experiments” that dispute their experience in the uniformed ranks."

Check out the recent Wall Street article, “The Military Recruiting Crisis: ‘Even Veterans’ Don’t Want Their Families to Join,” by Ben Kesling. Read it here.  It describes the range of problems and solutions offered by DoD officials.

American youth sentiments regarding military service do not promise any ready relief. Only 9% of American’s youth would consider military service down from 13% before the pandemic. Equally disturbing, a recent Gallop poll shows that unlike in 2013 where 85% of Americans aged 18-29 said they were “extremely proud” to be an American, only 18% of a similar age group express the same pride today.


But, back to grandpa, mom, dad, coach, and the personal exposure of today’s youth to the military – the article cited above dives below the “externalities” influencing the recruiting challenges. It adds detail to what has long been recognized as a key to recruiting – the “influencers.” It gets to my central point – “EVEN VETERANS…!” That’s us and we matter, of course, to a military that hires greater than 80% of its recruits from families with military ties or tradition. DO NOT ASSUME OUR ENDURING SACRIFICE TO A MILITARY OR MISSIONS WE NO LONGER UNDERSTAND. And, yes, AMERICAN VETERANS VOTE!


DoD and political leaders must not underestimate this sentiment, this judgment about today’s “military culture” in the hearts and minds of today’s Veterans. From disdain, to lingering curiosity, to strong interest, Veterans possess emotional ties to their service. When you consider less than 1% of Americans serve today in uniform against an average of 7% who ever served, that’s a large percentage of so called “influencers” with a deciding voice on who does and does not head off to basic training.


And DoD and political leaders must accept the fact that the large majority of these Veterans are older, more conservative, and unaccepting of “nonsense” arguments and social “experiments” that dispute their experience in the uniformed ranks.  AVV keeps close tabs on the demographics within the Veteran population we serve. In Virginia, the average age of Veterans is 55 and they vote “center-right.” The majority served in the post 9/11 military. They joined to fight a very present and real threat. The calamity of our withdrawal from Afghanistan cuts deep in the minds of those who can’t ignore their doubts about the worth of their sacrifices.


We built our military on merit, battled racial discrimination, effectively fought the scourge of drugs, reestablished standards-based doctrines, and dragged ourselves and families through repeated deployments and moves. What you label as extremists in the ranks (have you found them yet?), we successfully handled in countering gang related activities. Times change and new problems emerge, but don’t discount the hard work, steady learning, and hard-earned successes achieved by today’s Veterans in your rush to reinvent, relabel, or recast the human problems handled well in our past service by leadership, the chain of command, and teamwork.


There are some promising signs that DoD leaders realize the importance of Veterans as important, human rather than programmatic or technical elements of the solution to recruiting woes. Secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth recently pointed out, “Right now, we are not, in a comprehensive and structured way, leveraging our relationship with Veteran organizations.” Yet, she frets about what she calls a “warrior caste” as the base of our recruiting population. What?


To the “Warrior Caste” remain very proud of your service. Speak, counsel, and encourage the worth of that service. Be honest about the hardships and sacrifices. Fight with AVV to hold those elected to political leadership to standards of accountability, transparency, and commitment to the welfare of our family members as they choose service to our nation and our Constitution. 





Bob Wood

LTG (R), US Army

CEO, American Veterans Vote 

Inspiration Corner


COL (R) Michael B. "Yama" Hoyes

A Simple Act That Is Our Duty

Long ago as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, we were made to memorize quotations (and other things), and of course, back in the day, not being able to recite them perfectly would result in some sort of disciplining (typically painful!). The result though, is that I still remember this quote (attributed to Gen Robert E. Lee) today: “Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more. You should never wish to do less.”

Later in my life, while studying the Bible, the words of the following letter, addressed to the church in Colossae, struck a chord. The Apostle Paul is attributed to have written them in roughly 50 A.D.: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)

The right to vote as we know it today is not something that has always existed for all citizens of our country…in the first presidential election (1789) voters were predominantly landowning white Protestant males. To get us to today, there have been amendments to our Constitution that have rightfully extended those rights. Voting is not a requirement, but by being a right, does that also make it our duty, even though not compulsory?

Should we forego the opportunity that so many have fought and died to gain and preserve? I believe that as veteran-citizens, we should be at the forefront of the simple act of voting, considering the voting process as part of doing our “duty in all things,” that we “work at with all our hearts.”

First Round Endorsements

American Veterans Vote, Inc., is proud to endorse the following candidates running for office in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2023. We appreciate all the candidates who have “come forth to save their country” in response to George Washington’s plea. As always, we encourage Veterans to vote, volunteer, and run! We especially want to encourage Veterans to vote as early as possible to secure their vote for the upcoming election. Early Voting begins September 22, 2023.

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A Veteran's Perspective


Bill Bunting

“Follow me” was the WWII rally cry of Army Col. Aubrey Newman on the beaches of Leyte, Philippine Islands in October 1944, and it could similarly be the slogan of AVV’s own Col. (Retired) Bill Flanagan, US Army, for his efforts to restore Virginia’s and our nation’s politics to the more constitutional and patriotic positions held not that many years ago. At 85 years young, Bill displays more energy and enthusiasm than most people thirty years or more younger, and he ‘walks the talk’ by not asking anyone else to do what he hasn’t already done, and by crediting those assisting him rather than taking personal credit for actions which he organizes and leads. 

With Bill’s 23 years of experience in the Virginia State House (Chief of Staff supporting Delegate Kirk Cox), thousands of hours working polling stations on election days, and many, many doors knocked supporting candidates, he has a wealth of knowledge and background helping candidates win. As Bill would likely say - enough of the BS and let’s get down to planning and working to help our candidates win elections! 

In this year’s election, Bill chose to focus on a nearby district and a close race that’s critical to holding the House of Delegates - HD 82 and candidate Kim Taylor.  

COL (R) Bill Flanagan

He studied the three counties and one city that comprise HD 82 (Prince George, Dinwiddie, Surry, and Petersburg). He then looked at his network of Veterans and friends, and AVV’s list of other Veterans in HD 82, and set out to find a leader for each of the four locales. 


He called numerous Veteran contacts until he found Vets that would lead the effort in most counties/city (thanks to Steven S., David B., and Bill E.). Meanwhile he got two experienced Vets from Delegate Cox’s old district (thanks Jerry S. and Gary M.) to begin test/trial door knocking in HD 82 to check the accuracy of the Vet lists that AVV provided. He also got an early feel for how the candidate stood with voters. This early door knocking found that Vets were very supportive of Delegate Taylor and easy to engage.  However, it was also clear that many Vets were not inclined to vote early. Thankfully, AVV printed material and Gov. Youngkin’s “Secure Your Vote Virginia” program is helping to convince Vets to request mail-in ballots or vote early.


Lessons learned from Bill’s work and steps to follow:


1. If you’re not already an AVV member, join us by signing a Code of Conduct (CoC) online ( or talking to a member about a paper CoC

2. Contact AVV to find your Regional Team Leader (RTL) (we can put you in touch - and contact them about volunteering to help with our Veteran outreach effort. The RTL can set you up with data, literature, AVV shirt, and other supplies. They can also help coordinate your work with other efforts in that region and provide training as needed.

3. With guidance from the RTL, choose a focus district near your home, then research counties/cities in the HD or SD.

4. Use your own network along with Veteran lists provided by AVV to find other Veterans to help lead your election turn out efforts in each county or city.

5. Get the list(s) of those Vets who need encouragement to vote in the district from AVV staff. Test the list by door knocking or calling a sample to verify the accuracy of the lists. Get a feel for how your candidate stands in the district so you can better prepare your door knockers to make an impact. 

6. Gather volunteers and help sign up new AVV members to organize a larger effort to door knock and call Vet voters. Encourage sign up for permanent mail-in absentee voting or early voting. Follow up with volunteers about their progress. 

7. GET IT DONE (and help our candidates to WIN their election)!

Although Bill Flanagan is too humble to say it, I will say for him: “Follow Bill’s example” and we’ll stand a better chance of winning in November!


Every Veteran, Every Vote


Bill Bunting

AVV Field Force Coordinator


I Say Again

Newsletter Key Takeaways

  • Republics are dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people

  • Our republic is in a precarious situation and is not guaranteed

  • Local voting empowers our Constitutional Republic to limit federal overreach

  • Inaction is not an option - Veteran voters have the numbers to force change through the ballot box

  • Fight political apathy; Veterans must be front and center in voter turnout, absentee ballot sign-ups, and early voting

The Decisive Edge - Early and Absentee Voting

Use the following QR codes to:

  • Register to vote
  • Request an absentee ballot
  • Track your ballot

It's a fact ...early mail-in voters decide the elections.


Click here to register

Click here to track ballot

American Veterans Vote, Inc. (AVV) is a volunteer team of Veterans and Veteran supporters who led the Veteran Coalition for Glenn Youngkin. We are a 527 Political Action Committee with a nationally-focused mission to promote the political voice of Veterans and mission partners in support of our three strategic goals:

  • Support of Veterans and their Families
  • Defense of the Constitution, and
  • Promote Our Nation’s Security

AVV’s goal is to help Veterans maximize their political voice by supporting Veterans’ ability to Vote, Volunteer and Run for Public Office.

"Every Veteran, Every Vote."

We don't speak FOR Veterans... we speak AS Veterans.

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