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Kaitlynne Hetrick | April 29, 2021

#AdvocacyUpdate: Capitol Hill Announcement of Effort to Attack Military Sexual Assault and More!

Wednesday, IAVA’s government affairs associate Kaitlynne Hetrick had the opportunity to continue our #AllStarAdvocacy efforts in a meeting with Rep. Kahele (D-HI), and IAVA member Dan Moynihan. These meetings are imperative to informing Congress about IAVA’s policy priorities and giving our members a chance to tell their story and how they are connected to IAVA. 

Director of Government Affairs Travis Horr submitted testimony for a Senate Veteran Affairs Committee hearing on 22 bills, many looking to tackle military toxic exposures like burn pits. This hearing allowed us to share our positions on two pieces of IAVA-championed legislation, the Toxic Exposures in the American Military (TEAM) Act (S. 927/H.R. 2127) and the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins (War Fighters) Act (S.952/H.R.2371) Read Travis’s statement HERE and watch the hearing HERE.

On Thursday, IAVA EVP joined  Sens. Gillibrand (D-NY), Grassley (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), Blumenthal (D-CT), Cruz (R-TX), and Kelly (D-AZ) and military sexual assault advocates to announce the introduction of the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (MJIIPA),  long supported legislation to take the decision to prosecute serious crimes such as sexual assault, out of the hands of a servicemember’s chain of command and give it to independently trained military prosecutors. The bill would also increase security measures at military installations to keep servicemembers safe and improve sexual assault and harassment training procedures. Read IAVA’s full press release on the legislation HERE and watch the full press conference HERE.

IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force 

We know that this time can be stressful and IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is here to help! This program provides 24/7 peer support, comprehensive care management, resource connections, and can help with accessing your VA benefits. To get connected to a Veteran Care Manager for immediate help anytime, day or night, please call 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) or fill out our online form. Our services are remote, free, and confidential and QRF is here for all veterans, regardless of era, discharge status, or location. If you are a veteran or a veteran family member facing challenges or have questions, QRF is here to help you get back on your feet and meet your goals.

If you are currently experiencing a crisis please contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1.800.273.8255, and press 1. Alternatively, use the Crisis Text Line by texting “RISING” to 7417

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