WASHINGTON, DC – Dan Helmer, an Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran who ran for Congress in Virginia, is the new Vice Chairman of VoteVets, the group is announcing today.
“Dan is a perfect representation of the new generation of progressive leadership that veterans are bringing to communities throughout our country,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War veteran, and Chair of VoteVets. “Dan’s commitment to others speaks volumes about who he is, and how hard he will help us fight to deliver for our nation’s veterans, and our national security. Whether it is stopping efforts to privatize the VA, making sure that weapons of war get off our streets, fighting for the working men and women who wore the uniform, and more, Dan will be a true asset. We’re very proud to welcome him to the team.”
“I have long admired the kind of strong leadership that VoteVets provides, in combatting right-wing policies that undercut our veterans and our communities, as well as the way they have brought a real voice to progressive veterans who love this country,” said Helmer. “Now more than ever, VoteVets is an essential organization. The voice of the 550,000 progressive veterans, military families, and civilian supporters that we represent is going to be the key to stopping the extreme Republican Trump agenda, which hurts veterans, and all Americans. I’m very excited to hit the ground running.”
As Vice Chairman, Helmer will aid in the growth of the organization, as well as act as a lead spokesperson, out of Washington, DC.
Dan Helmer is the son and grandson of immigrants and refugees to the United States. In order to serve the country that had welcomed and done so much for his family, he attended West Point. After graduating in 2003, Dan was deployed to Iraq, where he served as an assistant intelligence officer. He then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, producing a master’s thesis focused on counterinsurgency warfare. On his next deployment, to Afghanistan, Dan put his academic work into practice. After a short period advising the Afghan National Police in Paktia, he founded the Counterinsurgency Academy, which served to train US military leaders as well as Coalition and Afghan partners. During Dan’s tenure at the Academy, more than 2,000 students completed the program and went on to lead the fight against the Taliban. Dan subsequently was stationed in Seoul. In 2013, he and his family were stationed in Northern Virginia, and he completed his active service in 2014, as a Major. Dan’s private sector work included serving as an advisor to the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as a number of US businesses.