Advocacy Update: Memorial Day in DC

It’s the calm before the upcoming Storm this week and the DC team was around the Nation’s Capital observing Memorial Day. We laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and were with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors’ (TAPS) for their annual Good Grief Camp. We’ve also added an additional 2 cosponsors on IAVA-backed legislation.

IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler and Legislative Associate Travis Horr attended the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is a somber event that IAVA attends each year in order to honor our Nation’s fallen. This year’s ceremony was attended by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, and Vice President Mike Pence. After the ceremony, Jeremy participated in the VSO wreath-laying and placed IAVA’s wreath at the Tomb.

Jeremy at ANC
Photo by Ryan Rabac, Student Veterans of America

And nearly 5,000 miles away at Hawaii’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, IAVA Member Dan Moynihan presented a wreath in honor of those servicemembers who have given their lives in the post-9/11 era. Dan is a former Marine, Iraq veteran, 9/11 first responder at the World Trade Center, a retired firefighter, and has Stormed The Hill with us many times.

Hawaii Wreath

After spending the last three Memorial Day weekends on the National Mall, with Rolling Thunder, and at Arlington with his IAVA colleagues, Legislative Director Tom Porter spent several days as a mentor to a young boy who lost his military father at TAPS’ annual National Good Grief Camp in Crystal City, Va. At the Camp, more than 500 bereaved children who lost a military loved one were paired one-to-one with military members and veterans who serve as trained Military Mentors. TAPS also marked the 25th anniversary of its first Good Grief Camp during the gathering. Learn how to become a TAPS Military or Legacy Mentor HERE.

Surviving children from Tom’s “Team 10” were warmly welcomed by the Arlington County Fire Station #5

New Cosponsors on IAVA-Backed Legislation:

This week the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act (S. 179/H.R. 712) gained an additional 2 cosponsors. Huge thanks to Reps. Omar Ilhan (D-MN) and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) for becoming the latest to back this campaign and support IAVA’s #CannabisForVets Campaign.

Ensure your Member of Congress supports IAVA’s Big 6 priorities by going through our Take Action pages here!

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