Advocacy Update: D-Day, #BurnPits, & More!

It was another busy and impactful week in DC as we prepare for a Summer Storm coming next week. We were featured on an ABC News piece on our #BurnPits bill, we were featured on a podcast, and attended the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day invasion at the National World War II Memorial on the Mall. We’ve also added another 7 cosponsors across IAVA-backed legislation.

On Thursday, Legislative Director Tom Porter was featured in a ABC news segment on the Burn Pits Accountability Act (S. 191/H.R. 663). This comes off the news that the Burn Pits Accountability Act was included in the base text of the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is a major win and a great sign for this legislation moving forward. Be sure to watch the full segment here.

Also Thursday, Legislative Associate Travis Horr went on the Stew and the Nunn Show to talk about the history of IAVA and our legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. Travis was able to talk about the upcoming Storm the Hill, IAVA’s Big 6, as well as talk about how IAVA’s survey informs our Policy Agenda and our legislative efforts. Be sure to check out the full podcast here.

Thursday morning, Chief Policy Officer Melissa Bryant was at a meeting of the full Military Coalition. Melissa and the Coalition talked about the rollout of the MISSION Act, which also happened on Thursday. IAVA and our partner VSOs are watching the rollout closely to ensure that veterans are getting the care that they deserve. The Coalition also awarded Melissa a Certificate of Appreciation for all of her tireless work to improve the lives of veterans and servicemembers.

Melissa TMC

Lastly, on Thursday, Tom Porter and new DC interns Clark, Megan, and Sam attended a Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion at the National World War II Memorial. There was music performed by “Pershing’s Own” Army Band and a procession of veterans of the conflict was escorted in to be recognized in front of a large crowd. They were joined by officers from allied nations that fought alongside our troops that day. The ceremony concluded with the playing of taps. The preceding day, volunteers read aloud the names of the roughly 9,000 servicemembers who were laid to rest at the Normandy American Cemetery in France. These readings lasted all day and well into the night. Ceremonies such as this help remind us of the incredible courage and bravery displayed by our veterans of World War II. Their patriotism and sacrifice will never be forgotten. You can read more about the event here.

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The June 6 commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at the National World War II Memorial. It involved a procession of WWII vets who were joined by officers representing allied nations from the war.

New Cosponsors of IAVA-Backed Legislation:

This week, as we received some great news that the Burn Pits Accountability Act (S. 191/H.R. 663) was included in the House NDAA, it also gained an additional 4 cosponsors! Thanks to Sens. Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) for their support of this important and timely legislation.

The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act (S. 179/H.R. 712) gained a new cosponsor in Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)! Rep. Raskin serves as House Majority Whip and is an important and powerful ally as we work towards the bill’s passage this year.

Lastly, the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act (S. 785) added two new cosponsors. Huge thanks to Sens. Maggie Wood Hassan (D-NH) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) for their support of this important legislation and a critical part of IAVA’s Campaign to Combat Suicide.

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

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