Townhall – Veterans Shaping America: Reflections on Memorial Day’s Political Impact

While Memorial Day is for cookouts, gallivanting on the beach, and spending time away from work and with our family and friends, we forget exactly what this day means to our country and to countless families nationwide. This year, I find myself reflecting more about the deep impact on the psyche of the generation that fought in the era of the “forever wars” from the turn of the century to today.  

As a veteran of the United States Army turned Republican pollster – what a more salient time to expand these reflections to how veterans are changing the landscape of American politics, and how our recent war-fighting past will influence our future. 

In January of last year, it was noted the number of veterans serving in Congress had only increased one percent since 2021. This means that out of the 535 Members of Congress, only 18 percent are veterans. While it’s important to increase that number generally, it is equally important to discuss what type of veterans are emerging as leaders in congress today and how they differ from previous generations who are now retiring. 

When it comes to legislating, the new generation of veterans have very different views on critical issues like foreign wars, healthcare at the Veterans Affairs Administration, and diplomacy on the world stage. Many of the veterans serving in congress today participated in our country’s Global War on Terror (GWOT). This group of combat veterans has seen more sustained combat than any troops in American history – whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, or the horn of Africa…

Read the full op-ed by Cygnal Pollster & Director of Political Strategy Mitch Brown in Townhall: Veterans Shaping America: Reflections on Memorial Day’s Political Impact (