NEW YORK, NY (November 17, 2017) — As the national media shifted its focus to Veterans Day last week, IAVA’s She Who Borne the Battle campaign reached more than 10 million people and grabbed headlines nationwide, transforming how America see its veterans. IAVA, the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, launched its groundbreaking She Who Borne the Battle in March to finally combat the inequities in recognition and services for women. The campaign gained unprecedented momentum after literally changing the face of veterans and elevating women veterans in national media around Veterans Day.
Momentum also reached leaders in Washington. The Deborah Sampson Act, a critical bipartisan bill that anchors IAVA’s campaign, saw a 25% increase in sponsors in the past 30 days. It continued with the introduction of the Military Justice Improvement Act yesterday by IAVA leaders and bipartisan members of Congress.
IAVA is the only major veterans organization making women veterans its top priority in 2017 so that they can finally get the recognition and support they deserve.
Highlights from the extended national news coverage of the campaign include:
Washington Post’s “The Lily”: Women are the fastest-growing group of veterans. Do they get the recognition they deserve? by Ashley Nguyen, Featuring IAVA member leaders Sara Poquette, Maria Terry, Asha Castleberry, De’Cha Laveau and Allison Jaslow
There are more than 2 million women veterans in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That means women make up 9.4 percent of the total veteran population. By 2040, VA expects that percentage to almost double.
Women have served in the armed forces since the American Revolution, but they weren’t officially recognized as permanent members until 1948. Today, they are the fastest-growing cohort in the veteran community.
Marie Claire: Female Veterans are Routinely Dismissed and Diminished by Allison Jaslow
I look forward to the day that I’m no longer a novelty. That’s why I’m so proud continue my service at an organization willing to prioritize changing the way America views and treats all our veterans. IAVA launched our “She Who Borne the Battle” campaign earlier this year in an effort to finally get women veterans the recognition and support they deserve—including demanding a change to the VA’s outdated, sexist motto.
We served, too, but we need your help to ensure America knows it. This Veterans Day, pledge to join IAVA and stand up for she who borne the battle too.
The Hill: A new VA motto would signify commitment to culture change for women veterans by Allison Jaslow
Within the Deborah Sampson Act is a provision that expresses the sense of Congress that the VA’s motto should be more inclusive. But we don’t need Congress to act to change the VA motto. In 1959, when the head of the Veterans Administration instituted the VA motto, he did so unilaterally. Secretary David Shulkin has the authority to make this change, which would mark a powerful commitment from VA leadership to improve a culture to one that fully respects the service of and will subsequently best support our nation’s women veterans.
Vice Impact: Women veterans deserve more respect for their service by Allison Jaslow
If you think women veterans deserve equal recognition and support for their service, join IAVA’s #SheWhoBorneTheBattle campaign. Work on your own biases (we all have them) and make sure women are featured when your communities acknowledge the service of veterans. Join our call to have the VA make its motto more inclusive. And ask your Members of Congress to put their names on the Deborah Sampson Act.
NY Daily News: Women members of the Navy, Army explain what their service means to them by James Fanelli
The Washington DC 100: Support Women Veterans by Melissa Bryant
She Who Borne the Battle: More than 345,000 American women have deployed since 9/11 and over 2.2 million women veterans live in the US total. Women are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population and that trend will continue as the number of male veterans simultaneously declines over the next decades. However, many women veterans are left without recognition and the proper care to support their needs when they return from their service. She Who Borne the Battle will change this by providing a foundation of public awareness, local support and policy changes solely targeted at recognizing and supporting women veterans. This includes changing the exclusionary VA motto, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan,” to a motto that includes “She Who Borne the Battle.” Learn more at www.SheWhoBorneTheBattle.org.
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) 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 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.