Governor requests support from President Donald Trump

August 8, 2018

“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 and noblest ideal: the defense of democracy.”
– Governor Eddie Baza Calvo

Hagatna, Guam- The Governor of Guam is asking President Donald J. Trump, members of his administration, and the U.S. Congress to recognize the patriotism and service of U.S. veterans on Guam and the territories with the long overdue right to vote in national elections.

“At a time of heated debate on the rights of immigrants, we have fallen short in advocating for the rights of our own U.S. citizens,” Governor Calvo said.

U.S. veterans of Guam and the territories do not have the right to vote for President despite having served in the U.S. Armed Forces for generations.

Guam is a U.S. territory located in the Western Pacific and one of the most patriotic communities in the nation:

Guam has the highest per-capita military enlistment rate in the nation
One out of every eight Guamanians has served in the U.S. Armed Forces
The casualty rate for Guam service members in Iraq and Afghanistan is 450% higher than the national average
Four thousand U.S. patriots are buried at the Guam Veterans Cemetery, the majority who were unable to participate in the very democracy they fought for

So many Americans from Guam have laid down their lives, and thousands more fought and bled on foreign shores, in the defense of democracy. Yet, despite this, not even one could participate in the democratic process with a vote for their Commander-in-Chief, the American president.

“A Veteran, a Vote!” is the message Governor Calvo is sending to Washington to correct this injustice.

A memorial poem about the Guam U.S. Veterans Cemetery, written by Joseph W. Duenas who is a son of a veteran, asks us to remember the sacrifice of so many from Guam. Below are two stanzas from the poem:

Beneath each stone, a patriot sleeps,
Where memories decay,
Of war and bloody bludgeoning,
On foreign shores away.

And stacked four high, in concrete crypts,
The U.S. soldiers lie,
No voice or vote for president:
Democracy denied.

A short two-minute documentary video of the full poem, “America, My Irony,” read by Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, is available on Gov. Calvo’s Facebook and YouTube.

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