Since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, American servicemen and women have been called upon to support a state of near-perpetual war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike any period of conflict in American history, these wars have been fought by an all-volunteer force, of which 77% deployed twice or more. Mr. Kennedy embraces this sacrifice made by veterans to the country, your sense of honor, and your desire to serve.

Mr. Kennedy understands veterans’ acute awareness of the true nature, enormous cost and sacrifice, and folly of America’s engagement in these conflicts. Veterans deserve recognition for their remarkable service. More importantly, they deserve a special voice in our democracy’s councils of war and peace and in re-uniting our country around shared purposes. 

The stark absence, except in rare circumstances, of input from veterans in the more extensive debate about the US role in the world is improper, and when he is President, Mr. Kennedy will change this on day one. 

Mr. Kennedy understands that veterans are not victims. Instead, your steadfast dedication to values such as accountability, duty, honor, and candor has been misused by politicians and the military-industrial complex, who have deliberately kept the true opinions of those who have served in these wars out of the conversation. For example, veterans have first hand knowledge of the waste and fraud endemic to the government contracting system, and ideas of how to fix it.

Mr. Kennedy knows that only by giving veterans a “seat at the table” can Washington avoid making the same mistakes of the Global War on Terrorism again. 

A Seat At the Table

No one knows more about the sprawling global military presence than the veterans who have implemented the policies that have built it. America has a role, but that should put the security of America and her citizens first, and no one knows better what that should look like than her veterans.

When elected President, Mr. Kennedy will establish a Veterans Council within the President’s Executive Office. The purpose of this council will be to respond quickly to veteran’s issues while bypassing the bureaucracy of the VA and, in effect, bring solutions to the VA for that department to execute. Further, Mr. Kennedy will give the head of the PVC a seat at National Security Council meetings to bring your unique perspective on war and leverage your experience.

Mr. Kennedy Will Protect Your Benefits and Optimize the VA

Mr. Kennedy is committed to protecting the benefits you have earned through the sacrifice of your youth on behalf of this great nation. As President, Mr. Kennedy will not allow your benefits to be reduced. Instead, he will solicit your input on making those benefits more impactful to enable you to reach the highest echelons of success and prosperity. 

Mr. Kennedy Wants Veterans to be Community Leaders and an Economic Power

Mr. Kennedy understands that service in the US military is largely generational, or in other words, a “family business.” Further, many veterans return home after one enlistment, and you have had a lifetime of experience by the age of 22. 

Understanding this and that leadership, fairness, discipline, and accountability are core to your persona and values as a veteran, Mr. Kennedy wants to empower you to lead your community. 

For too long, America has been deliberately divided against itself by those seeking self-enrichment, which has cost this nation its role and reputation as a beacon of hope and a moral leader worldwide. With your experience, leadership, and participation, and Mr. Kennedy in the White House, we will return not only to this position globally but also to heal the ever-growing divide at home.