It was a busy time for the IAVA DC team last week, to say the least! Following the news of President Trump’s request for a military parade, IAVA surveyed our members asking their opinion on the proposal. Out of the 4,615 IAVA active duty and veteran members who completed the survey, 70% stated they oppose the idea, and 22% stated they support. See our press release, survey results, and methodology here. In addition, IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff and Chief Policy Officer Melissa Bryant did television interviews on the subject.
While most of you were sleeping late Thursday night/Friday morning, the federal government shut down for the second time this year. Although Senate leaders reached a bipartisan deal on Wednesday that would have prevented the shutdown, voting on the deal was held up past the deadline. Despite this shutdown lasting only a few hours, it was still disruptive to our military planners and servicemembers; we heard anecdotally of National Guard/Reserve units canceling drill weekends in anticipation of another shutdown– just as they did in January during the last shutdown.
In the hours leading up to the midnight deadline, we sent out an email to our membership asking that they contact their Members of Congress to oppose the government shutdown. The response from our members was swift. In just a few hours, IAVA members sent over 800 messages to Capitol Hill. And in partnership with The Military Coalition, we ensured Members of Congress knew our community wanted to see a fully funded military.
During this controversy, we maintained our advocacy for our #SheWhoBorneTheBattle campaign in support of the Deborah Sampson Act to fill gaps in care for women veterans. Please lend your voice and contact Congress here!
Last, but certainly not least, Melissa attended a Veteran Service Organization breakfast with VA Secretary Shulkin. You can check out Melissa’s on camera readout of that meeting and the rest of our busy week here. We’re going to keep fighting to ensure that IAVA members and post-9/11 veterans are taken care of. Check back here for more updates. We’ve got your back!