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RNC & DNC Wrap-Ups

Every four years, two cities in America play host to the party faithful of the Republican and Democratic parties. And for 14 days, these two cities become the press and political center of the world, where each party takes its turn to lay out their platforms and priorities in the form of delegate meetings, press engagement, and political stump speeches that get even the most disenchanted voter excited and engaged for the general election and political battle about to ensue. While a large majority of convention attendees are party loyalists or elected party officials, there are a few attendees who are there for reasons beyond political jockeying and partisan politicking.

IAVA was proud to attend both the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and as a non-partisan organization, IAVA attended to bring national attention to the issues affecting the newest generation of veterans and how post-9/11 veterans are more empowered and engaged than ever before.

According to IAVA’s most recent member survey, 93% of respondents are currently registered to vote and 80% voted in the 2014 elections. Veterans’ issues were also the topic IAVA members considered the most important, even over the budget and homeland security. This means not only is the post-9/11 generation highly engaged in politics and the political process, they are also extremely concerned about the policies that will directly affect them–health care; privatization of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and the protection of their education benefits through the GI Bill.

It is very important to note that although they are highly engaged, IAVA members, and veterans in general, are not a singular voting block. Their opinions and political affiliations are as diverse as the country itself. This diversity was on display at both conventions–whether it was talking to local leaders and IAVA members at the VetTogethers we hosted in partnership with Twitter, meeting veterans at events or on the streets of Cleveland and Philadelphia, or listening to the veterans who were chosen to speak onstage at each convention–it became very evident: veterans have a clear voice in this political process and they are not afraid to use it.

Miss the action? You can watch our daily video roundups here:

RNC – Cleveland, Ohio
Day 1 – IAVA Member Robert Prah
Day 2 – IAVA Member LT Haraz Ghanbari
Day 3 – IAVA CEO Paul Rieckhoff & Member Art Davis
Day 4 – IAVA Legislative Director Tom Porter
Day 4 – IAVA CEO Paul Rieckhoff
CNN Interview with IAVA CEO

DNC – Philadephia, Pennsylvania
Day 1 – IAVA Chief of Staff Allison Jaslow
Day 2 – IAVA Member Thor Wold
Day 2 – IAVA Member Jeffrey Wells
Day 3 – IAVA CEO Paul Rieckhoff & Chief Policy Officer Jonathan Schleifer
Day 4 – IAVA CEO Paul Rieckhoff

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