July 10 Media Advisory: Military and Veteran Advocates Invite Senators Obama and McCain to Fort Hood Texas

Media Advisory:  Military and Veteran Advocates Invite Senators Obama and McCain to Fort Hood Texas

Presidential Town Hall to Focus on Military and Veterans
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2008

Contact: Carissa Picard, Managing Director, 2008 Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium, 254.554.1513, hoodtownhall@gmail.com.

2008 Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall
Monday August 11, 2008, 9:00 pm (EST)
Bell County Expo Center
301 West Loop 121
Belton, Texas 76513

Hosted by the 2008 Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium, to be carried live on the CBS Television Network.

A diverse group of non-profit organizations dedicated to serving active military, veterans, their families and their survivors has come together to invite the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to Fort Hood, Texas, for an in-depth discussion of the increasingly complex issues facing America’s military and veteran community. The CBS television network has agreed to produce and broadcast the town hall meeting in prime time that evening.
Fort Hood is the largest U.S. military installation in the world and deploys the most soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of our continuing Global War on Terror. Consequently, the Consortium cannot imagine a more appropriate audience—or a more compelling location—for this event.

“Veterans for Common Sense is pleased to be a part of this historic effort during a time of two wars to place the needs and concerns of our service members, our veterans, and their families in front of the presidential candidates and the American public,” said Paul Sullivan, Executive Director of Veterans for Common Sense and one of the members of the Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium. 
This Consortium represents organizations that provide services and support to our service members, veterans, wounded warriors, and their families. “We believe if there is one more debate or town hall before the general election, it should be before an audience comprised of the men and women whose service and sacrifice ensure that these events continue through their defense of our country and of our Constitution,” said Carissa Picard, lead organizer and military spouse.

“This forum is NOT about being for the war in Iraq or against the war in Iraq. This is about the fact that there is a war in Iraq, as well as Afghanistan, and there are consequences to that war – consequences for our service members, for their families, for our country. These candidates are asking to be elected the next Commander-in-Chief and we believe that our audience, as well as the American public, will be extremely interested in knowing what they have to say about these issues.”

In November 2004, the President was elected by a majority of 126 million votes. Today, approximately 27 million American adults are veterans. If we assume half are married, then there are approximately 40 million voters intimately aware of the issues affecting veterans and their families. Meanwhile, there are approximately 2.6 million Americans currently serving in our Armed Forces, either full or part-time. If you include their spouses, then we will have an additional 4 million voters sensitive to the needs of our veterans, wounded warriors, and military families.

In all, the veteran and military communities total approximately 44 million Americans—almost a quarter of the overall voting population and more than one- third of the total voting participation in 2004.

“The sacrifices these families endure are not abstract; they are borne out in illness, injury, post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, economic hardship, the daily agony of separation from family and friends; and finally, the ultimate sacrifice of our Gold Star families. Furthermore, those citizens who are not themselves members of the military and veteran community are eager to see that those who shoulder the enormous strain of wartime service are afforded the meaningful thanks of a grateful nation.” adds Amy Fairweather, director of the Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, a group of organizations dedicated to improving services for military, veterans, families and survivors, many of whom have joined to invite the candidates to this historic forum.

The Consortium includes a diverse group of veteran and military service organizations including Veterans for Common Sense, Disabled Veterans of America, the Brain Injury Association of America, and Sentinels of Freedom. These groups are working in partnership with the military, the Department of Veterans Affairs, state and local governments, and faith and community based organizations to deliver services and support to our military, veterans and families.

Picard adds that, “We sincerely hope the candidates will accept our invitation. We hope this event will remind American voters in November that his or her choice will have a significant impact on the lives and well-being of millions of service members, veterans, wounded warriors, and military families—including children.”

Consortium Members

American Veterans (AMVETS)
Jim King, Executive Director

Brain Injury Association of America
Laura A. Schiebelhut, Director of Government Affairs
Disabled Veterans of America (DAV)
David W. Gorman, Executive Director

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States
MSG (Ret.) Michael P. Cline
Executive Director

Fleet Reserve Association
Joseph L. Barnes, CAE, ABC
National Executive Director

Military Officers Assn. of America
VADM Norb Ryan, Jr. (USN-Ret.), President

Military Order of the Purple Heart
Hershel Gober, National Legislative Director

Military Spouse Corporate Career Network
Deborah Kloeppel, CEO

National Spinal Cord Injury Assn (NSCIA)
Marcie Roth, President/CEO

The Sanctuary International
Jon Norsworthy, Director

Veterans for Common Sense
Paul Sullivan, Executive Director

Veterans United for Truth
Bob Handy, HMC USN Ret, Chair

Vietnam Veterans of America
Texas State Council
Luther “Buster” Newberry, President

Veterans Village
Nadia McCaffrey, President/Founder

WELLsville Veterans Project
Kristin Van Huysen, President/Founder

Members of the Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans

Air Compassion for Veterans
Richard Love, Chairman

American Pain Foundation
Tamara Sloan Anderson, Program Development Director

Armed Services YMCA
S. Frank Gallo, National Executive Director

Brave New Foundation
Jim Miller, Executive Director

CA National Guard
Jon Wilson, Financial Assistance Programs Manager

Barbara Lau, Executive Director

Coming Home Project
Dr. Joe Bobrow, Executive Director

Dallas Foundation
Laura Smith, Director, Community Philanthropy

Disabled American Veterans
Joe Violante, National Legislative Director

Homes for Our Troops
John Gonsalves, President

Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
Karen Guenther, Executive Director

New Directions
Toni Reinis, Executive Director

One Freedom
Elizabeth Hawkins, Executive Director

Pathway Home
Fred Gusman, Executive Director

Project: Return 2 Work
Rob Brazell, President

Salvation Army Liberty Program
David K. Leonard, Coordinator

Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation
Mike Conklin, President

Swords to Plowshare
Michael Blecker, Executive Director

Bonnie Carroll, Founder

TIRR Foundation Project Victory
Cynthia Atkins, Executive Director

Vets 4 Vets
Jim Driscoll, Coordinator

This entry was posted in Veterans for Common Sense News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.