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Col K's Corner "Why did I vote?" or Getting to Know Your Military Community

On this election day I had to write about voting and the military community. Why? I think it helps define the military culture and how you can target your marketing to them.

The military lifestyle can make it hard to get to the polls! New states, new polling locations, no notice deployments/TDYs and other issues can make it hard to find a way to be a successful voter! Finding information on local issues from long distance is also tough. Sometimes states make it hard during overseas assignments by requiring applications for absentee ballots in a short timeframe so you can't get the ballot in time for filing it. Some have made changes to that process after military personnel were short changed of this opportunity in the past.

Pride in voting is one part of the military culture but what makes a military member and their family (if they are married and 60% are) tick? Why do they go to such effort to vote? Military families take pride in their work, most enjoy the military lifestyle and they realize how important the duties of a citizen are because they are frequently personally affected by this process. In fact, I would say that they are probably the group of citizens most affected by the vote outcome at the federal level.

Decisions on military budgets, social programs, medical programs and military pay issues are controlled in DC by congress and the President. Recently these programs have been very favorable as they should have been during a time of war. Military families are seeing long separations but also more pay and benefits too! Combat zones create tax exclusion advantages, dislocation allowances, combat pay and other benefits. In addition, the federal government and the individual services' efforts to support spouse employment are increasing. The military family now has more resources, a steady income and discretionary spending has improved significantly.

So as a Military Avenue Partner you have opportunities to target your marketing with this group of patriotic citizens. Show you are a military friendly business with posters, signs, stickers, special discounts and they will respond! Remember that pride I mentioned earlier in their work and culture? Show your pride in them too! They will respond.

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