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IAVA and DAV Call on Republican Senators to Hold VSO Listening Session

On July 10th, IAVA and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) sent a letter to the Senate Republican Leadership following an open forum discussion with the Senate Democratic Caucus. As the leading Post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization, is it important that we get to discuss the biggest issues impacting the Post-9/11 community with all Members of Congress.

Here is the letter we sent:

July 10, 2018

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate

Dear Majority Leader McConnell:

As leaders of major veterans organizations, we respectfully request an opportunity to have an open forum with Members of the Senate Republican Majority in order to exchange perspectives on the challenges facing America’s veterans and develop a more regular dialogue between us.

As you may know, DAV and IAVA have been deeply involved in developing and advocating for federal legislation, policies, programs, benefits and services to improve the lives of America’s veterans, their families and survivors. Although our organizations were borne out of different times, with missions that reflect those eras, we both work to support veterans of every generation.

In recent years we, along with other major veterans service organizations (VSOs), have had regular opportunities to meet with the leadership and membership of the Senate Democratic Caucus, the House Republican Conference, and the House Democratic Caucus. Recently, the two of us were provided a special opportunity to speak at a Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee lunch to discuss the VA MISSION Act, with nearly half the Senate in attendance. However, we have had limited opportunities to interact with the Senate Leadership or the Senate Republican Conference and believe it would be in both our interests to open a regular dialogue and develop closer relationships.

With only 21 veterans serving in the Senate, we can provide your Conference with critical perspectives on issues affecting the men and women who served and sacrificed for our country, particularly those who saw combat and those injured and ill from their service. We believe it would be informative and important for your Conference members to have a continuing dialogue with major VSOs and would respectfully the opportunity to address and engage the Senate Majority.

Thank you for all you do for the men and women who have borne the battle. We look forward to hearing when we might have the opportunity to meet and enhance our relationship.

Sincerely,

Paul Rieckhoff
Founder and CEO
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Garry J. Augustine
Washington Executive Director
DAV (Disabled American Veterans)

Cc: The Honorable John Cornyn, Senate Majority Whip
The Honorable John Thune, Senate Republican Conference Chairman
The Honorable Roy Blunt, Senate Republican Conference Vice Chairman

See the original letter here.

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