Veterans who want to run for political office will have unprecedented support thanks to Service After Service, a bipartisan political action committee (PAC) for and by military veterans that is expanding its support for vets running for public office.
On Jan. 1, the PAC launched a new website spelling out its mission and providing resources to candidates, incumbents and their constituents. Service After Service is registered with the Federal Election Commission and the IRS as a non-connected PAC, meaning the organization depends on public donations to fund its programs.
According to its founders, Service After Service is focused on “veterans supporting veterans.” That mission includes both current office holders and candidates. However, veteran status is only part of what the PAC looks for in the politicians it stands behind; the organization promotes only those candidates and incumbents with a proven record of supporting veterans’ interests at all levels of government.
The new Service After Service website includes an alphabetical listing of local, state and federal elected officials who have demonstrated their commitment to advancing the interests of the nation’s veterans. Each entry notes which service branch the respective official served in, along with their final (or current) rank. Anyone who wants to learn more about these individuals can follow links to their biographies.
Political candidates who are veterans and who have made pro-veteran initiatives an important part of their platform can request a featured spot on the Service After Service website. Candidates must submit page 1 of their DD Form 214, plus a supplementary document outlining essential data. More information about these requirements is available on the Candidate File Upload page. As with the current office holder pages, candidate entries will include service branch, rank and an official biography link. Service After Service will add new candidates to this page on a regular basis as the organization receives requests.
Seemingly every election cycle, at least one or two instances of “stolen valor” make the news. Misrepresenting one’s veteran status is a crime, yet that hasn’t stopped the unscrupulous from doing exactly that. Service After Service seeks to uncover every case of stolen valor and bring them to light. An entire section of the new website is set aside for this purpose.
The founders of Service After Service believe strongly that military vets make exceptional candidates for a multitude of reasons, according to a news release. Combat vets, for instance, have shown their ability to “get the job done” under pressure most people cannot imagine. But combat experience isn’t essential, as military service by its very nature teaches individuals to be effective team builders, tactical problem solvers and deft managers of time and resources. Perhaps most importantly, veterans have a wealth of experience leading people toward a shared objective. Many believe vets are less prone to the divisive partisanship that has become so toxic to civil discourse, and Service After Service agrees.
Going forward, the primary goal of Service After Service is to become a premier resource for veterans’ political campaigns, from the smallest local offices to the U.S. Congress and all points in between. To achieve that goal, the organization plans to create a “Candidate Academy,” which will function as a comprehensive training program for veterans seeking public office. Growing the donor base and raising awareness of this goal will be step one in realizing this long-term vision.