Submitted by: Huey O'Neal

Category: Stories

During the midterm election in 2014, I organized a “Get out the Vote” project for the Louisiana post 13. We started by meeting with the editorial staff of the local newspaper to get their support. The program included: contacting veteran organizations throughout Louisiana and surrounding states to work on getting out the veteran vote, writing articles on the importance of voting for Louisiana newspapers and speaking to veterans and civic groups.

The local Monroe TV station taped a 30 second PSA on voting that aired for about 2 months prior to the election. The American Legion magazine had a voting article in the October 2014 issue on voting which included post 13’s program.

The Legion Americanism Department recognized our accomplishments in their newsletter. The statewide voting turnout doubled from the previous election, but there was a lot that still didn’t vote. The Military Officers Association of America presented me their national leadership award for my effort in “Get out the Vote” project.

The 2016 presidential election will be one of most important election in our history. The military and veterans will be deeply affected by the new Commander-in-Chief decisions on military actions and care of veterans. Our future security is going to depend on decisions made by our new Commander-in-Chief.

Veterans must Vote to make their voices heard in the political arena.
Americans (veterans) must vote to protect our liberties. Voting is required to protect our freedoms. Americans have the greatest country ever known in the history. Many sacrifices by the military and dedicated leaders in our government have made this possible. Our country offers more opportunity than any country. It is worth protecting. To maintain our values and freedoms, we must have strong military and dedicated leaders. There must be a strong participation in our political system to maintain our form of government by voting.

Voting is the biggest weapon that the American citizen has to protect our constitution from foreign and domestic enemies. The lack of voting leads to corrupt government. We must participate and choose our leaders careful to maintain our freedoms. Trustworthy and honest leaders must be elected to protect our Constitution and be responsible to the people.

Ben Franklin after the Constitution was approved is said to have told someone that the founders gave the American citizen a Republic: if they can keep it. He meant that everyone must participate in the political system and vote to keep the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Our participation doesn’t stop at elections but must continue constantly.

Small vocal groups can change the direction of the country if the majority remain silent and don’t participate in our political system.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance according to Thomas Jefferson.
Every election is important as individuals elected to office will establish laws under which we will have to live, they will make decisions for the direction of the country, and they will make decisions on how to spend our tax dollars.

Elected officials make important (often life and death) decisions about how our society will use its resources and the restraints it will place on individual behavior. Elections seldom provide clear cut choices between good and evil. You must decide who best matches your personal preferences as to public problems. Research their background and don’t depend on stump speeches.

Many look at the personal characteristic of candidates to determine how they will perform in office. We usually prefer candidates who are honest, moral and qualified since we are entrusting them to make decisions that affect our futures.

An important consideration in a presidential election is the appointment of U. S. Supreme Court Justices that can change the direction of the country for generations. A lot of blood has been shed through American history so that you have the right to choose your own leaders in government. Many people have worked tireless so that Americans have the opportunity to live one’s own life. Many wars have been fought to preserve our freedoms. American military is still fighting and dying in wars so that we have the freedom to choose our leaders and protect our freedoms.

Voting gives the ability for people to express their opinions about the government. The power lies in our hands when we vote. We are given a really great opportunity that many people don’t take advantage of. We are given the opportunity to change what we don’t like and bring about something we do like. Every vote reassures our democracy and makes it stronger. We can’t allow for it to weaken and disintegrate. Many people around the world opinions doesn’t matter.

Our freedom is not possible without the peoples’ vote. It is having been important since our government was founded and it always will be, as long as people do their duty by taking part in the single and easy process of registering to vote and voting.

Voting gives you the ability to express your opinions about the kind of government you want. The power lies in your hands when we vote. We are given a really great opportunity that many people don’t take advantage of. We are given the opportunity to change what we don’t like and bring about something you do like. Every vote reassures our democracy and makes it stronger.

We can’t allow our country to be weaken and disintegrate. We veterans must continue to defend the Constitution from foreign and domestic enemies by voting.

Everyone must accept their civic responsibility and vote on election day to protect our Constitution which gives us the greatest freedoms and opportunities in the world.

Veterans must participate in the political system to get their voices heard. Veterans served in the military to defend and protect the Constitution and now they must continue to do so by voting. Voting is the responsibility of everyone that loves our country.

About the author:

Huey O’Neal is a lifetime member of The American Legion, having served as commander of Louisiana Post 13 and 5th District. During his time as commander, he worked in public relation with the media. He chaired a coalition of veteran organizations to get a Veterans Home in Monroe, Louisiana. He was also chairman in forming a statewide coalition of veteran groups to work together on common interest projects. In the 2014 midterm election he chaired a “Get out the Vote” project for Post 13. O’Neal is a graduate engineer from the University of Oklahoma and served 20 years in the U. S. Air Force as fighter pilot and engineer, retiring in 1970.