America is facing one of the largest transitions of active military service members to the civilian sector since the Vietnam conflict ended. Since September 11th, 2001, uniformed men and women have been deployed to some of the most dangerous places on the planet in support of U.S. strategic objectives against terrorism. They’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and now that they’re out of uniform, they are sharing their opinions, and Americans are listening.

Presidential candidates who underestimate the influence of the veteran voice in 2016 are making a huge mistake. The veteran vote (and “voice”) matters in 2016 because many Americans are looking to former service members for interpretations of what’s happened since 9/11 in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa with regards to U.S. Foreign Policy and Domestic security concerns.

“What have we accomplished in Afghanistan? Iraq?”

“Is America a safer place today?”

“Did the U.S. cause ISIS?”

What about Iran? Are they a real threat to U.S. national security?”

I’ve personally seen these questions repeatedly on SOFREP’s social channels, and on my own personal social media pages. My friend and former teammate Mike and I were talking about the issue and he had this to say.

“With the level of sacrifice that our veterans have invested into the last 14 years of sustained combat, it is paramount perhaps now more than ever to get involved in and be a voice that is heard loudly in the 2016 election. We need to have a strong influence in the government that decides whether or not, why, and where they will employ us.”