IAVA Meets with First Lady Michelle Obama and Key Leaders in the White House
Posted by Isabel Black on March 30
IAVA met with First Lady Michelle Obama and key administration officials in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. Fifteen Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are participating in IAVA’s annual Storm the Hill trip discussed the challenges they face and action they would like to see from the White House on the veteran unemployment crisis.
“IAVA was honored to meet with the First Lady today. She has demonstrated tremendous commitment to our troops and veterans, and our community is lucky to count her as an advocate in the White House. In the coming months, we look forward to learning more about the First Lady and Dr. Biden’s initiative to support new veterans and identifying ways to help on the ground,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “One of the issues we focused on today was the unemployment crisis facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. The new veteran unemployment rate is above 11 percent, and the veterans in the room shared with the First Lady the personal challenges they face transitioning from combat to a career in the civilian workforce.
We had a very productive conversation with administration officials about concrete steps the private and public sectors can take to create jobs for veterans. In the coming months, we look forward to working with the President and First Lady to bring critical attention to this issue and lower the new veteran unemployment rate by Veterans Day.”
During Storm the Hill 2011 from March 28th- April 1st, IAVA Member Veterans are meeting with dozens of Members of Congress as well as representatives from the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and the White House. The veterans bring diverse military service and personal experiences, and they offer lawmakers a unique understanding of the issues facing their peers in the veteran community. As they walk the halls of Congress this week, they represent over 14 different states and will share distinct perspectives on how the economic crisis is impacting their generation of veterans. Through StormtheHill.org, Americans across the country can follow their live updates from Capitol Hill. To learn more about Storm the Hill 2011 and the veterans who met with the First Lady today, click here.
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