In response to the President’s recent comments on the CA shootings, IAVA released the following statement:
Comments like this one from our Commander in Chief are extremely unhelpful. They perpetuate a false and damaging narrative that veterans are broken and dangerous. Most people who suffer from PTSD, when able to access effective treatment, are able to live healthy, happy, meaningful lives.
Despite the challenges, and despite the still severely limited resources, post-9/11 veterans are soaring as a population thanks to our core resilience and commitment of men and women who self-select to serve.
When veterans with mental health injuries do hurt someone, it’s mostly likely themselves, not someone else. We lose 20 veterans and servicemembers to suicide every single day. Which again highlights the critical importance of seamless access to quality and effective care, whether through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or elsewhere.
IAVA’s Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) is our premier case management program and our masters-level social workers provide guidance, support and linkages to critical on the ground resources for our nation’s heroes. The tragic shooting on Wednesday underscores the need for RRRP and non-profit programs like it. We ensure that those in our community who need help get the support they need without getting bounced around a fractured system of care.
Thankfully, some folks like Craig Newmark, the founder of craigslist, are stepping up to send big reinforcements. But we’ll need much more and everyone can help.
We hope that is a message that all Americans hear—especially this weekend on Veterans Day and throughout Veterans Month.
-Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and Founder, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)