For years it has seemed like Congress just can’t get anything done. Year after year we seem to have a budget crisis, an immigration crisis, a healthcare crisis, yet the folks up on the hill routinely do nothing constructive for American society. According to Gallup, April & May of this year represented 20 year highs for the public’s approval of Congress. Yes, indeed, the soared to the heights of…31% approval. Imagine working in a profession where 70% of your employers don’t trust you….and that’s a major improvement. The partisan divide is stronger and more corrosive than ever, so what is contributing to the terrible state of our legislature?
Many former Veterans believe that it is the lack of Veterans in office which is destroying the integrity in the Halls of Congress. For much of the 20th century, Veterans equaled roughly half of those serving the people. According to The Military Times, the number of Veteran Congress people has been declining since the 1970s, and the current totals are “less than 18%.” Veterans argue that their unique experience defending the Constitution on non-partisan grounds gives them unique skill sets which translate to reaching across the aisle. With the instilled ethos of integrity, honesty, and teamwork in their character, they are natural problem solvers who put the mission ahead of their egos. Access to campaign support has been an obstacle for young Vets trying to break into public service, but more than ever there are political PACs reaching out to Veterans in the effort to help them get elected to office.
The Following are Political Action Committees (PAC) committed to getting Veterans elected to office:
WithHonor is a “cross-partisan” PAC that focuses on improving the legislative process in our country by cutting through the “hyper-partisanship” which has eroded public trust in Congress for decades and stunted any meaningful progress in our country for years. This PAC makes the argument that the decline in Veterans in Congress and the increase of hyper-partisan bureaucracy are linked, along with the decline in public trust in the Legislative Branch. Veterans represent the embodiments of the non-partisan oaths to protect the Constitution of the United States across beliefs, backgrounds, and party. Candidates must uphold the pledges of “Integrity, Civility, & Honesty.”
SEALPAC is a conservative organization founded by former Navy Seal, Rob O’Neill. Rob O’Neill proudly served his country as a seal, took part in over 400 combat missions over more than a dozen deployments in 4 different theaters of war. He is also famously known for his book, “The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a Seal Team Veteran.” Their mission “is to raise funds to assist conservative, military veteran incumbents and candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.” So far this election cycle, SEALPAC has contributed over $200K towards Vets running for office and hopes to raise over $1M by Election Day.
American Alliance for Military Veterans PAC wants to help elect Veterans and those who support Veterans causes. It sees the steady decline of Veterans in Congress as a negative marker in our society. Some of the causes that the PAC supports are issues Vet medical care, such as expanding VA Choice to emergency & urgent care centers, emergency transportation and removing co-pays on prescribed preventive care prescriptions. They also support increasing funding of the GI Bill and Co-Op programs to help Veteran’s transitions back to civilian life.
Combat Veterans for Congress, is a Political Action Committee, or PAC, whose mission is to support conservative Combat Veterans running for Congressional office. The PAC was Co-Founded in August 2009 Congressman Barry M. Goldwater (R-AZ)(Ret) and Capt Joseph R. John, USNA ’62, USN (Ret)/Former FBI. Combat Veterans for Congress is strictly committed to its founding principles; restricting out of control & irresponsible Congressional spending and protecting the inherent freedoms of Americans guaranteed by the United States Constitution & accompanying Bill of Rights. Candidates for the Committee’s endorsement must demonstrate “intelligence, common sense, integrity, honesty, and willingness to govern in accordance with the precepts laid down in the US Constitution.” Candidates must have previously demonstrated a willingness to “go into harm’s way to protect and defend teammates engaged in combat,” pass a background check, and pledge to uphold the PAC’s Mission Statement.The War Veterans Fund is a PAC founded by current members of Congress and combat Veterans, Congressman Dan Crenshaw, Dan Crenshaw, (R,TX) , Congressman Mike Waltz, (R, FL), and Congressman Michael Waltz, (R,WI), to provide the institutional support needed to elect Conservative Veterans running for Congress. The Mission of the PAC is to “help Republican military veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq run for the U.S. House by raising money and building a sense of teamwork in order to better govern. They have fought for their country overseas and are ready to fight for it again… this time in the halls of the U.S. Congress.”
If you are a veteran considering running for office but are unsure where to begin, a good place to start is by asking yourself: are you a good fit for a political campaign? Here are a few other considerations to factor in when deciding if you are a veteran fit for running for office.