Gov. Eddie Calvo seeks President Donald Trump’s support for veterans on Guam and other territories by granting them the right to vote for president. American citizens on Guam, the CNMI, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands are not allowed to vote for the American president. The governor said it’s a “tragic irony” that so many from Guam laid down their lives and thousands more fought and bled on foreign shores in the service of America’s most cherished ideal of defending democracy, yet they cannot vote for their commander-in-chief, the American president. “American veterans residing in Guam and other U.S. territories have served tirelessly for generations now, advocating with force of arms to protect our rights. Whose voices are raised for their rights?” Calvo said in an Aug. 8 letter to Trump. Copies of the letter were also addressed to members of Trump’s administration and members of Congress.
Calvo wrote that Guam has the highest per capita military enlistment rate in the nation, with one out of every eight Guamanianas has served in the U.S. armed forces.
The casualty rate for Guam service members in Iraq and Afghanistan is 450 percent higher than the national average, Calvo wrote.
Calvo also said 4,000 U.S. patriots are buried at the Guam Veterans Cemetery, the majority of who were unable to participate in the very democracy they fought for.
“A veteran, a vote” is the message that the governor is sending to Washington, D.C. to correct this injustice, Adelup said in a statement Thursday.