IAVA Honors the 16th Anniversary of the Start of the Iraq War

NEW YORK, NY (March 20, 2019) — Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America recognizes the 16th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War on March 20, 2003.

For some of us, today will always be a day we remember. For far too many of us, however, we need a source of reminder.

We all thought this war would be over a long time ago. Many of us assumed that the 175,000 troops who deployed for the original invasion would be all that it would take. 16 years later, we are still there and thousands more cycle through each year.

Today IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler asked the IAVA community to take a moment to think about those who did not come home, and those who came home forever changed. He also asks American leadership to take responsibility for the future of the conflict, highlighting the voices of IAVA’s members as reflected in our annual survey in an op-ed published today.

In an email to the IAVA community, Butler said, “IAVA grew out of this war. We were founded on the principle that those who have served our country for the past 16 years, knowing they were serving in a time of war, deserved to be supported, empowered, and recognized for their sacrifices.” 

IAVA today gives thanks to the many veterans of this war and to all veterans who were supporting the war effort from locations other than Iraq. IAVA asks all Americans to take a moment today to reflect upon the historical significance of the day, and what it means for this country.

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.