NEW YORK, NY (December 6, 2016) – This week, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) members will “Storm the Hill” to demand Congress take action on top priorities important to the veterans community before they finish business for the year. IAVA ‘Stormers’ will ensure that the progress made on our campaigns to #DefendtheGIBill and #PayThemBack is not lost at the 11th hour. Storm the Hill is an IAVA-led advocacy program that brings the stories of the more than 2.8 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to Washington. These veterans represent IAVA’s diverse, dynamic and rapidly-growing national membership.
“Storm the Hill is back. We’re sending our strongest leaders to Washington to make sure IAVA’s 2016 wins make it across the goal line,” said Paul Rieckhoff Founder and CEO of IAVA. “We’re starting by taking our #PayThemBack campaign to the House Armed Services Committee’s public hearing on the California National Guard Bonus Scandal. This issue is not over yet and it must get fixed — not just for Guard Soldiers in California, but for any who may be affected across the country. Thousands of our brothers and sisters have had their personal finances destroyed and they need a resolution before the holidays.”
On Wednesday, IAVA members and leadership will take the #PayThemBack campaign to the House Armed Services Committee’s public hearing on the California National Guard Bonus Scandal and to the national media. Throughout the week, our teams will also meet with and urge policymakers to ensure that zero cuts to the Post-9/11 GI Bill are included in the year-end spending bills.
In meetings with Senators, IAVA leaders will discuss what we hope to see in the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs ahead of confirmation hearings. Expressed in a meeting with President-Elect Trump’s transition team last week, we hope the next VA Secretary is: a veteran, preferably a post-9/11 veteran; a dynamic leader who understands technology and the healthcare delivery system; and someone who knows how to get things done on both sides of the aisle in Congress.
Now in its 11th year, Storm the Hill puts IAVA’s top issues on the map and has jumpstarted historic changes, including the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Clay Hunt SAV Act, advanced funding for health care at the VA and the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.
IAVA’s Stormers will also be educating congressional leadership on IAVA’s Policy Agenda in advance of the new Congress. The policy agenda serves as a blueprint for addressing the critical issues facing the Post-9/11 generation of veterans and is driven by data from IAVA’s member veterans nationwide, partner organizations, and over a decade of experience. The full Policy Agenda can be read here.
All week, IAVA will be posting photos, videos and personal stories on social media and with the #StormtheHill, #DefendTheGIBill and #PayThemBack hashtags on Twitter.
Veterans Storming the Hill this week with IAVA bring their own stories of service in and out of the military. Bios on the veteran leaders can be found here.
IAVA is the leading voice of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in Washington and communities nationwide. Led by veterans, our non-partisan advocacy work ensures that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families are supported, protected and never forgotten. Since 2004, IAVA has been a juggernaut in Washington, creating and driving the national conversation on issues ranging from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to women veteran issues to veteran unemployment. IAVA’s dedicated staff in Washington, D.C. leads this work, advocating on behalf of our members daily. We also train our member veterans to be powerful advocates for their local community.
IAVA is focused on results and has delivered historic impacts. Every year since 2007, in an increasingly gridlocked political environment and with an extremely limited operating budget, IAVA has passed at least one major piece of groundbreaking legislation for our community ranging from the Post-9/11 GI Bill (2008), to the VOW to Hire Heroes Act (2011), to The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act (2015).
See IAVA’s Advocacy Program Digital Hub the full list of victories and to learn more about how you can help.
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.