NEW YORK, NY (July 27, 2017) — Yesterday, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, swiftly opposed President Trump’s declared ban on transgender people serving in the military. IAVA was the first and only national veterans organization to vocally oppose the ban highlighted in some of the coverage found below:
“This is backward, harmful and contrary to American values. It’s also bad for national security,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA founder. “Thousands of transgender troops are serving in our military right now. An unknown number are in combat zones today.”
IAVA Executive Director Allison Jaslow said, “The comments that the President made today harm national security. Once you put that uniform on, you’re the same as anybody who’s next to you.”
Allison Jaslow said, “This is actually unprecedented… The President talked about how policy like this disruptive. What’s more disruptive is shoot from the hip policy making decisions when our troops are on the ground trying to fight in war.”
IAVA stands in support of our transgender troops and veterans–and in support of equality always. As a next-generation veteran empowerment, advocacy and support organization, IAVA is proud of its record of standing, often alone, on the right side of equality issues. We’ve fought for historic change within the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DoD). IAVA supported the June 2016 announcement by DoD to allow transgender troops to serve openly without threat of discharge, and has called for an expansion of rights and services for LGBT troops, veterans and their families. IAVA was also the only national Veteran Service Organization to support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Similarly, IAVA led the veteran community in endorsing the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
IAVA will continue fighting to ensure that our nation maintains the best and most qualified force possible and that all veterans are properly honored by our nation and served by the VA. IAVA’s platform on promoting equality for all troops and veterans can be found on page 67 of our Policy Agenda here.
Note to media: Email email@example.com or call 212-982-9699 to speak with 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 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.