Manly Souza

Branch: United States Air Force
Years Served: 20
Rank: SMSgt (E-8)
Military Occupation: Senior Enlisted Leader. 3P091
Twitter Handle: @ManlySouza

Tell us a little about you outside of the military:

  • Outside of the military, I am in the real estate industry. I have my real estate license, I invest in real estate, and I am a Realty Specialist with the Air Force.

Why are you joining the IAVA Cavalry?

  • If someone is in a position to help others, which I feel I am, the IAVA may be a good vehicle for me to help others who have lived a similar life to myself.
  • Looking to assist Veterans who: feel lost, struggle with depression/suicide, seeking their purpose, looking for others who have gone through what they’ve been through, or are going through, and/or are seeking advice or guidance.

How did your military experience shape you to be the person you are today?

  • Military has taught me discipline and organization. Utilizing these skills, I was able to achieve goals I would have never achieved without these skills.
  • Also, the free college, via Post 9/11 GI bill, has paid for my degrees, which has put me on an academic path of success as well.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities for you believe is the most pressing? Why?

  • All of the policy priorities are very important. However, for me specifically, I seem to have an affinity towards two.
  • The first one is the campaign to combat suicide among troops and veterans; and the second one is to support for injuries from burn pits and toxic exposures.
  • Having been enrolled in the PACT ACT and going through the process with the VA for PACT ACT presumptive claims, this is something I feel should get more exposure. Jon Stewart played a big role in raising awareness for it, and I tell veterans to apply as well.
  • However, I feel more strongly towards the campaign to combat suicide among troops and veterans. Having lost friends to suicide, and struggling with it myself, none of the other policy priorities will matter if we can’t keep veterans alive.

Which one of IAVA’s policy priorities do you have the strongest personal connection to? Why?

  • The campaign to combat suicide among troops and veterans. For reasons listed above.


Our country has an obligation to fulfill its promise to honor and support vets. Make a donation today to help IAVA fulfill its mission to connect, unite, and empower post-9/11 veterans.

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