Honor Servicemembers and Their Families

IAVA's Policy Agenda for the 117th Congress

Current Policy Priorities

IAVA has recommended specific policy priorities to address the issues that matter most to post-9/11 veterans.


Honor the Service and Sacrifice of Servicemembers and their Families





Honor the Service and Sacrifice of Servicemembers and their Families

Over 75% of IAVA veteran and military members do not believe that the American public understands their sacrifice. Nearly 7,000 service members have given their lives in overseas post-9/11 conflicts and the nation must honor these men and women, those who continue to serve, and their families. We must not only honor and support our current generation of veterans, but pay tribute to those who have come before us.

In 2017, IAVA supported passage into law of the Caring for the Families of our Wounded and Fallen Heroes Act to increase the amounts of educational assistance payable under the VA Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. With this legislative push IAVA shows veterans and their dependents that we recognize their unique sacrifice as well and wish to extend benefits for their selflessness.

Again in 2017 IAVA was a leader in the fight to successfully pass into law the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Act to create a national memorial in Washington, DC. This has been a conflict that has lasted a lengthy amount of time and in order to preserve the understanding of why we fight the establishment of this memorial is essential to reigniting the passion to support our current service members and remember those who have fallen. However, the work is not done and in the 117th Congress IAVA will advocate to ensure that the memorial is on the National Mall.

In 2018, IAVA was a leader in the fight to successfully pass into law the 9/11 Memorial Act to establish grants to help secure the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City in order to share remembrance and show appreciation to those who have fallen. The same year, IAVA supported passage into law of the Families of Fallen Servicemembers First Act, to ensure the immediate payment of military death benefits to survivors of fallen service members during federal government shutdowns. And in 2019 IAVA supported fixing and providing relief for Gold Star families that were hit with an unexpected “kiddie tax” due to their survivor’s benefits.

IAVA will continue to build off of these legislative successes to ensure that veterans, family members, and survivors are properly honored for their sacrifices.

IAVA's Recommendations

  • Continue to encourage all Americans to observe Memorial Day and Veterans Day
  • Ensure that the Global War on Terrorism Memorial is fully funded and built on the National Mall
  • Ensure that spouses of fallen servicemembers are not penalized with loss of next-of-kin status, and monetary, education, healthcare and other legal rights and benefits if they remarry
  • Improve training requirements for casualty assistance officers; ensure personnel are fully aware of survivor benefits
  • Support and expand funding for nonprofits that support families of the fallen like TAPS and Gold Star Families and programs that inspire action and service in their memory, like the Travis Manion Foundation
  • Support veteran memorials, museums, and public education efforts across the country that highlight the service and sacrifice of post-9/11 veterans and service members
  • Preserve Arlington National Cemetery for the post-9/11 generation and ensure they are afforded the same consideration as past generations of veterans

IAVA's Policy Priorities

Select a topic from the list below to learn about IAVA’s policy recommendations for the 117th Congress.