This week the Air Force celebrated its 71st birthday, the IAVA team was busy working on gaining legislative victories across our Big Six priorities. We’ve added an additional Senate cosponsor on IAVA-backed legislation and delivered our Change.org petition to #DefendTheGIBill.
First up this week, the IAVA team delivered a petition to the Department of Defense in order to reverse the decision to cut GI Bill transferability for servicemembers after serving for 16 years. Over 55,000 of you have signed on to the petition and we are ensuring that your voices are heard. If you haven’t signed on, your voice can still be heard and help us stop this damaging new policy by going here.
As many of you know, September is National Suicide Awareness Month and combating suicide remains IAVA’s number one priority within our Big Six. According to IAVA’s latest Member Survey, 65% of IAVA members know a post-9/11 veteran who attempted suicide, and 58% know a post-9/11 veteran that died by suicide. This week, IAVA’s Senior Veteran Transition Manager with the Rapid Response Referral Program, Patrice Sullivan, wrote a powerful and impactful blog detailing her personal connection to this important issue. Be sure to read her whole story here.
Additionally this week, IAVA signed onto a letter with Human Rights First and a number of other VSOs which urges Congress to expand the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program, for those who served alongside U.S. troops. It’s extremely important for us to stand by our local allies just like they stood by us while we were deployed. You can read the full letter here.
New Cosponsors on IAVA-Backed Legislation:
This week the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act (S. 2796/H.R. 5520) gained a new cosponsor in Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)! Sen. Warren has served in the Senate since 2013 and sits on the powerful Armed Services Committee, which is charged with oversight of the U.S. military, personnel, and national defense priorities. Thank you, Sen. Warren, for being the latest to support #CannabisForVets!