Today is the first day of another disruptive and avoidable government shutdown. It is a frustrating day for our country, and an especially stressful one for our military and IAVA members worldwide—many who depend on VA care or a paycheck from the government. The shutdown is a rapidly-changing situation, and as an IAVA member or ally, we want to get you any news or resources that might be useful. At the same time, our team of dedicated veterans advocates in Washington is working now to push lawmakers from both sides to understand this shutdown hurts our community, weakens our national security and must end ASAP.
IAVA and leading non-partisan veterans groups fought the shutdown back in 2013 to ensure that VA had systems in place to protect veterans. Today, because of that advocacy five years ago, VA benefits and healthcare will be much less affected. You can see the VA’s contingency plan, available online here.
The Department of Defense and other agencies will be more deeply impacted, and there will likely be disruptions across all government agencies.
This is an uncertain time for troops and veterans and IAVA is here to provide updates and support. Stay tuned to IAVA’s blog and social media for timely updates on the shutdown and what is impacted. And please share any resources you find useful with the community. As the situation evolves, we’ll share the latest news as soon as we can—and sort through the technicalities and political spin.
Additionally, IAVA’s dynamic Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) social workers are trained to help veterans and military family members navigate all types of transition issues. If the government shutdown affects your benefits, livelihood, or well being and you need support, our highly-skilled RRRP team will do their best to help. We are expecting a flood of requests, and will respond to each request as soon as we can. We are also in close touch with other VSO and MSO partners to combine efforts as much as possible.
In tough times like this, our community will again step up to show America what real unity, cooperation and leadership looks like. Together, we are an example, and a source of strength for each other and for all Americans. And an example the squabbling politicians in Washington need to follow—now more than ever.
Stay tuned and thanks for all you do.