WHAT: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff will testify before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs on Wednesday, March 12 at 10 a.m. in Washington, DC. In a rare opportunity before both houses of Congress, Rieckhoff will present IAVA’s 2014 policy agenda, which reflects the top issues affecting the post-9/11 veterans community.
IAVA, the largest non-partisan organization for post-9/11 veterans and their families, has been a driving force in Washington since 2004, most recently advocating for the repeal of cuts to military retirement benefits. This year, a key focus will be a heightened effort to strengthen mental health efforts and prevent veteran suicides.
Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars face multiple challenges when returning home. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at least 22 veterans die by suicide a day, and a recent study found that the suicide rate among young male veterans rose by 44 percent in the past three years. More than 365,000 veterans are stuck in the VA disability claims backlog, waiting more than 125 days for claim. Furthermore, the post-9/11 veteran unemployment rate jumped to 9.2 percent during the month of February, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
WHO: IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff
Representatives of four other leading Veteran Service Organizations
House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs
WHEN: Wednesday, March 12 at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Senate Dirsken Building, Room G-50 Washington, DC
Note to media: Please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212-982-9699 if you would like a copy of the testimony or would like to arrange an interview with IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff.
Note to media: Email email@example.com 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.