Honoring veterans’ service requires action, not just words, to protect the democracy they risked their lives to defend
WASHINGTON — Today is Veterans Day, a day to honor those who swore an oath to protect our Constitution and risked everything to defend our democracy. This means more than just giving statements of gratitude and support. In a year of unprecedented attacks on our democracy, honoring veterans must include action on behalf of veterans, including protecting their freedom to vote.
Common Defense Executive Director Jose Vasquez issued the following statement:
“As a veterans organization, we spend each and every day honoring veterans by working on the issues they care about and are deeply impacted by. Today, as the whole country takes a pause to reflect on the sacrifices us veterans have made for this country, we first and foremost take the time to extend our deep appreciation to each and every one of our members who have dedicated themselves in service of this country, both during their time in the Armed Forces and well after. I am incredibly proud and grateful to work alongside so many strong, generous and caring veterans who are dedicated to making their communities more inclusive, just and welcoming places to live.
“We expect today there will be countless statements of gratitude from our elected officials. Those statements, while appreciated, will ring hollow unless they are accompanied by actions, especially after this year’s onslaught of attacks on voting rights. There are 4.7 million veterans across our nation with service-connected disabilities who rely on measures such as early or mail-in voting to cast their ballot, and restrictive voting measures enacted in states across the country cast them out of the democracy that they put everything on the line to defend. If our elected officials are genuine in their statements of gratitude and support, then they will do everything in their power to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and ensure every eligible veteran has the ability to have their voice heard at the ballot box.
“To drive this point home, we released an updated digital ad today insisting Senator Kyrsten Sinema support the Freedom to Vote Act—a follow-up to our successful ad campaign in October that pushed Senator Sinema to support drug pricing reform in the Build Back Better Act. The ad follows months of organizing, mobilizing and demanding that our representatives pass federal election reform to ensure that every eligible voter has access to the ballot. Protecting the democracy we risked our lives to defend is the best way to honor veterans’ service every day of the year.”