This week, national news broke that as many as 82,000 veterans may not have received GI Bill benefits for months due to IT issues. IAVA and other veteran organizations have been sounding the alarm on this for months and have renewed urgent calls for action.
“This is beyond outrageous. This failure is America breaking its sacred promise to all veterans. Especially during Veterans Month, it’s unacceptable and simply stunning. We need immediate action today from VA Secretary Wilkie and President Trump himself. There was a press conference with both VA Secretary Wilkie and the President today and there was inexplicably no mention of the issue whatsoever. And no mention of the VA’s plan to remedy the tens of thousands of incorrect or late payments to student veterans.” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Founder and CEO.
IAVA also submitted testimony ahead of a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Economic Subcommittee oversight hearing on a “Continued review of the GI Bill,” calling for swift action by the VA, Congress, and the President.
Rieckhoff continued , “All the big talk about supporting veterans from leaders in Washington – well, show us you support us and get this fixed now. No excuses. Just get it done. These brave men and women served their country and it’s imperative that we as a nation do not let them down in their time of need – especially when they are rightfully using the resources available to them in the GI Bill in order to ease transition post-military. Veterans have proven time and time again that when we invest in them, they provide the ultimate return on investment by often giving back to the communities in which they live. But today is a shameful failure that should embarrass and infuriate all Americans.”
If you’re a veteran in financial trouble (or know one) because you’re experiencing a late GI Bill payment, IAVA’s Rapid Response Team will do all we can to connect you with non-profit resources in your area: iava.org/rrrp. Our bandwidth is limited, but we’ll try to help as many as we can.
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.