Tuesday, July 26, 2016

#RNCinCLE Wrapup & #DemsInPhilly
Week Ahead

After catching up on a bit of sleep after an intense week in Cleveland at the 2016 GOP Convention, the Got Your 6 team is heading to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia to close out the convention season. With that in mind check out my week in review from #RNCinCLE and what I expect to see with the #DemsInPhilly.
At Got Your 6 we know that veterans are leaders, problem solvers, and team builders. In short, we are civic assets and that fact was on display in Cleveland. I spoke with hundreds of people last week and met veterans from all generations and services who were in Cleveland as delegates, elected officials, police officers, and protesters. It was a reminder that the veteran community is as diverse as they nation we have served.
During a campaign that has become increasingly divisive and at times hateful, those of us who have served in uniform should remind ourselves that we have something very powerful in common: our military service. As we transition out of uniform many of us have continued service as elected officials, volunteers, and leaders working hard to elect public servants at every level of government.
As the Got Your 6 team continues our work to promote veterans as civic assets while talking about the issues that matter most to our community it’s critical that we do so in a way that honors the service and sacrifice of our entire nation. Sadly, while we were in Cleveland last week, a top adviser to the Trump campaign on veterans issues came under Secret Service investigation for comments calling for Sec. Hillary Clinton to be executed for treason. For a veteran to come out and say that a political opponent should be put to death damages the campaign, our community, and the entire country. It’s ridiculous, and it goes against all military values and what we believe.
On a positive note, we are encouraged that both Vice Presidential nominees have sons in the military — both serving in the United States Marine Corps. As most know, the motto of the US Marine Corps is Semper Fidelis, which means “always faithful.” Given both tickets’ personal connections to our military we expect that each campaign will always be faithful to recognizing and empowering veterans as leaders, problem solvers, and civic assets.
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As our team arrives in Philadelphia for the Democratic Convention, Sec. Clinton is addressing the VFW during its annual convention. We trust that her remarks will help set the stage for this week’s convention, which we hope will highlight veterans and military issues just they were in Cleveland.
Got Your 6 will continue with our #VetInspired campaign to unite veterans, the military community, and the American public as we elect a new Commander in Chief. We will continue to work hard to empower veterans as civic assets, promote the issues that matter most to our community, and encourage veterans and civilians to vote in this historical election.
Looking forward to an exciting week ahead!
Bill Rausch is an Iraq War veteran and executive director of Got Your 6.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bill Rausch Responds to Trump Advisor Suggesting Hillary Should Be Shot

Last week, Al Baldasaro, a retired Air Force veteran who advises Donald Trump on veterans' issues suggested Hillary Clinton should be shot for her history of scandals. During an interview with the "Jeff Kuhner Show," Baldasaro condemned the former secretary of state for lying to the families of Benghazi, then said the following:
“This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”
Bill Rausch, Executive Director of Got Your 6 a veteran empowerment organization rejected Baldasaro’s remarks, calling it “completely inappropriate.”

“I’m a combat veteran – you don’t say that," he said. "You don’t put people in front of firing squads and shoot them. It goes against the ethos of every single person who’s raised their right hand and swore to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. He should know better.”
These remarks are “especially inappropriate,” Rausch said, in light of the recent deadly shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, where two of the shooters were veterans. Rausch said the Trump campaign needs to denounce Baldasaro's words.
“That’s damaging us as a community,” Rausch said. “It’s got to be condemned. We’re calling on them to condemn it immediately. There’s just no place for this.”

Not only should the Trump camp roundly denounce his remarks, but Rausch insisted they should “make sure he no longer speaks on behalf of the campaign.” He should not be associated with it “whatsoever.”
“If we made progress this week, it sets us back,” Rausch said.
Day One of the RNC was termed “Make America Safe Again” and featured several keynote speakers who were either veterans or family members of veterans. “They set the bar high” for the DNC convention to reach in Philadelphia next week, Rausch noted.
On Tuesday, they weren’t able to dig deeper into the veterans’ policies mentioned on Monday because the news was dominated by the reports of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech. Now, they are having to deal with Baldasaro’s unfortunate comments.
It “damages the campaign’s effort,” Rausch said. There have been some really great members of the Trump campaign he’s been working with who he “can’t imagine they would even condone this.”
The Trump campaign has yet to respond to Got Your 6’s requests for comment.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review from #RNCinCLE Day One: Make America Safe Again

As the traditional media spend the entire morning talking about Melania Trump’s speech, check out my review of Day One at the Republican Convention below.
On Day One of the Republican Convention, I walked into Quicken Loans Arena, commonly known as “The Q,” to what’s being called the “revolt” where delegates on the floor were in aloud debate while attempting to pass a rules package being put forward by Trump delegates. The “yays” and “nays” voice votes had The Q rocking like I hadn’t seen since game 6 of the NBA finals last month. Politics aside, it was a clear reminder of how fired up folks are here at the convention as they crown Donald Trump the official nominee.
We met dozens of veterans from all over the country who are here as delegates, supporters and even employees of the campaign and national party. While speaking with these folks, including a fellow Iraq war and Army veteran living in Phoenix, we were reminded that veterans are in their small towns and big cities having impact everyday as teachers, business leaders, coaches and civic assets! This fact was also brought to the forefront during the formal programming as keynote speakers included Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, Senators Tom Cotton and Joni Ernst — both combat vets — along with retired LTG Mike Flynn and others who promoted service to our communities and country as a way to extend the oath we took while in uniform.
However, one of the most moving moments of the evening came at the beginning of the show where Marlana VanHoose sang the National Anthemin one of the most powerful and memorable renditions I’ve ever witnessed.
There were uncomfortable moments of certain speeches and portions of the programming that ran long, but as I sat beside my friend and gold star wife, Jane Horton, a few rows up from Senator Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich while briefly speaking with VP candidate Mike Pence, it was clear that the campaign and the party were committed to making veterans and military family issues a top priority. The only thing missing was more substance around how Donald Trump will “make America safe again” while taking care of our veterans.
As Day Two is ramping up we will continue speaking with as many folks as we can in an effort to promote veterans as civic assets and talk about the issues that matter to our community while inspiring more veterans and civilians to participate in this critical election. We are pushing hard in Cleveland with an eye on Philadelphia to see what the Clinton campaign has in store for everyone next week!
Bill Rausch is an Iraq War veteran and executive director of Got Your 6.

Friday, July 15, 2016

#VetInspired Energizes the 2016 Presidential Campaign

Posted July 15, 2016 by Bill Rausch

Got Your 6’s #VetInspired campaign is uniting veterans, the military community, and the American public as we elect a new Commander in Chief.
From the forests of Western Europe to the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, over the decades U.S. service members have fought to liberate and bring democracy to hundreds of millions of people across the world. To highlight the value of veterans as civic and community leaders, the veteran empowerment organization Got Your 6 is bringing its #VetInspired campaign to the 2016 Presidential Campaign, starting with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
Got Your 6’s #VetInspired campaign upholds the service, sacrifice, and stories of our uniformed personnel as a call to action in the U.S. electoral process. Got Your 6 will attend the Republican and Democratic National Conventions to remind all Americans that — no matter their political affiliation — there is no better way to honor our veterans than by participating in the very electoral process that our brothers and sisters in arms sacrificed to defend.
  • To educate the country about the value of veterans as civic assets.
  • To engage the candidates on issues of importance to the veteran and military communities.
  • To compel veterans to participate in the electoral process as voters, community leaders, and candidates themselves.
  • To leverage the service and experience of veterans and military personnel as inspiration for all Americans to vote.
As veterans and civic assets, we have a responsibility to call the country to action this November by:
  1. Participating in the electoral process — whether it be by registering and committing to vote, volunteering for a campaign, or running for state or local office.
  2. Engaging candidates on policy issues that impact the lives and welfare of veterans and military service members. Any candidate running for federal, state, or local office should be challenged to clearly define their policy stances on issues of importance to veterans.
  3. Educating the country about the value of veterans as civic assets.Veterans may have taken off the uniform but their commitment to service has not faltered. Veterans vote at higher rates, volunteer more, and participate in their communities at rates higher than their civilian counterparts. It’s time we change the narrative of the damaged veteran by showcasing and highlighting actual veteran leaders serving their communities.
Got Your 6 challenges each and every American to honor the sacrifice of veterans by participating in the democratic process by:
  1. Registering and voting in November. No matter your background or political leanings, we can all unite in the goal of increasing the political engagement of our citizens. In January 2005, 80 percent of registered Iraqis went to the polls to vote in the first national election after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Images were beamed around the world of Iraqi voters holding up their ink-stained fingers as a sign of pride and hope for the future. Despite our national commitment to spreading the institution of democracy to others, America’s voting turnout was a paltry 54 percent of the eligible voting public in November 2012. We can and should do better.
  2. Encouraging real debate on policy issues that impact the lives and welfare of veterans and military service members. Civilians have a responsibility to challenge candidates to outline their plans for supporting and empowering our veterans.
Bill Rausch is an Iraq War veteran and executive director of Got Your 6.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Team Rausch Goes Electric; Reserves Tesla Model 3
and Accelerates Sustainable Transport!

From a young age I've always enjoyed cars, and reserving the Tesla Model 3 is not only exciting but also makes me feel like a kid again!

When asked by folks why I'm going "electric" I explain that what excites me about the Model 3 is how groundbreaking an automobile it is. Is it electric? Absolutely, 100%. It will also clock 0-60mph in less than 6 seconds. It's American made. The base price is $35,000 and it will comfortably seat five adults with more interior room than a BMW 3-series or my current Saab 9-3. This is possible, in part, because the driving position and fronts seats have been moved forward which is not possible in a combustable front engine car (the engine is in the way). The rear seats are also pushed toward the rear of the car and with an all glass roof there is not only more headroom, the experience is said to be unforgettable.

See additional specs below.
2017 Tesla Model 3
BASE PRICE$35,000 (excluding applicable tax credits)
VEHICLE LAYOUTRear- or front/rear-motor, RWD/AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
MOTOR(S)AC induction, 221-hp/244 lb-ft front; 235-hp/317-ft-lb rear*
TRANSMISSION1-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT4,200-4,350 lb*
WHEELBASE113.0 in*
L X W X H184.1 x 74.2 x 56.5 in*
0-60 MPH5.9 sec (mfr est)
ON SALE IN U.S.Late 2017
*MT estimates based on image scaling, best intelligence.
The other point I quickly make when telling friends about my Model 3 is that it's a beautiful car! The lines are amazing and distinct. In a world where most four door sedans look the same, the Model 3 stands out like none other. One of the most distinct cars I've owned was a 1999 Saab 9-3. With a narrow and unique stance, functional hatchback and swedish styling my friends and family always knew when I was arriving. Who doesn't like to stand out in the crowd? Well, in my new Model 3 standing out won't be a problem unless I'm mistaken for one of my fellow 400,000 TM3 drivers?

Of course, this car is electric and who wouldn't love that?! It's efficient, good for the environment, costs less to operate and maintain. The Model 3 packs performance, safety and spaciousness into a premium sedan that only Tesla can build. Their most affordable car yet, Model 3 achieves 215 miles of range per charge while starting at only $35,000 before incentives. This car is the future and it's here today -- well, it's here in late 2017 or maybe 2018! 

Lastly, I admit to being a Saab enthusiast in search for a new automotive brand. Although I currently drive a completely adequate and lovely 2009 Saab 9-3, it lacks the soul and spirit of earlier Saabs pre-2003 when GM leadership ordered a complete overhaul and redesign. With the new and innovative Tesla Model 3, I am excited about cars in a way I haven't been since being a kid. The Model 3 is an American made engineering marvel that has beauty and brawn. I've sat behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S and Model X in a showroom floor but have never driven one. Once my very own Model 3 arrives I'm betting I'll only drive Tesla's for the remainder of my motoring years!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bill Rausch - Executive Director of Got Your 6 on Community, Veterans in the Civic Process, and Leadership

My name is Bill Rausch and I had the pleasure of talking with JJ Pinter from Team RWB on the #EagleNation podcast. We spoke about my experiences as former Army Officer, my time on the hill advocating for Veteran’s issues in DC and as a consultant. I am also a husband and father, a local volunteer leader for Team Red, White, and Blue – in addition to being the Executive Director for Got Your 6.

Got Your 6 is dedicated to empowering veterans to lead a resurgence of community across the nation while bridging the civilian-military divide. #OneTeamOneFight
JJ and I have a fun and wide-ranging conversation, covering:
● Leadership
● Community
● Growing up in the rural Midwest
● Veterans involved in the civic process
● And finally, Michigan-Ohio State Football (Go Buckeyes!)
JJ is a great American, and a good friend – I’m proud to share my story with him and the #EagleNation