Media |

Kaitlynne Hetrick | November 15, 2021

#AdvocacyUpdate: IAVA Attends Presidential Veterans Day Events

The pandemic changed the way many events are held. Last year, most events were completely closed to the public due to the surging cases of Covid-19, including the usual Veterans Day celebrations in D.C. After a grueling year and a half, many were encouraged as the time-honored traditions resumed this year. 

IAVA’s Travis Horr and Jen Burch presented the IAVA wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony that marked the 100th anniversary of the Tomb. Our wreath was the sole one to remain on display following the official ceremony. Additionally, IAVA EVP of Government Affairs Tom Porter represented IAVA at the White House during a special Veterans Day reception hosted by President Biden. 

In addition to events on Veterans Day, the week always includes many other public engagement events. IAVA’s Kaitlynne Hetrick participated in a panel discussion on Women Veterans hosted by the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute, DAV, and IAVA. This panel brought experts, veterans, and advocates together to discuss how migraine headaches are affecting many women veterans and can be tied to burn pit exposure. Watch the full panel discussion HERE

Kaitlynne participated in another panel Saturday during Minority Veterans of America’s 2nd Annual Equity, Inclusion, & Justice Summit. The panel, titled “Gender as a Framework for Military & Veteran Identity” brought up the important topics of how gender can affect the way a veteran is viewed and the need to change the VA motto to be inclusive of all veterans. 

Kaitlynne Hetrick participating in the WCPI discussion on Women Veterans and Migraine

IAVA Senior Advisor Matt Zeller joined Stephanie Rhule of MSNBC to discuss our continued commitment to support our Afghan allies. CEO Jeremy Butler joined Brianna Keilar of CNN to discuss military toxic exposures and the mental health of veterans in the community. Travis Horr also joined Robin Young of the Boston NPR radio show Here & Now to discuss the war in Afghanistan, his deployment experience, and IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force. Finally, earlier in the week, Kaitlynne Hetrick and Jen Burch joined Jacqueline Matter of FOX to discuss the fight for women veterans’ healthcare.

IAVA Quick Reaction Force

IAVA understands that this time can be very stressful and triggering for veterans and we want you to know that we are here to help. IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF) 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

Media |


Our country has an obligation to fulfill its promise to honor and support vets. Make a donation today to help IAVA fulfill its mission to connect, unite, and empower post-9/11 veterans.