IAVA Leaders Meet with VA Secretary To Discuss Suicide and Other Policy Priorities

WASHINGTON, DC (March 6, 2019) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Butler and Chief Policy Officer, Melissa Bryant, met with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie today to discuss the release of IAVA’s Policy Agenda for the 116th Congress and, specifically, the organization’s Big 6 policy priorities.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Secretary Wilkie today and discuss those items that we feel are the most urgent to the welfare of the veteran community” said Butler. “While we fundamentally disagree on the need to change the VA motto to one that is inclusive of all veterans, we adamantly agree on the immediate need to address the ongoing crisis of veteran suicide and I look forward to a new opportunity for IAVA to work with the Secretary, his staff, and others in the veteran community to meet this challenge. Our 425,000 members expect us to have a seat at the table when veteran policy is being made, and this is a step in that direction. It is my desire that this renewed collaboration with the VA will also extend to a new opportunity to bring our members’ views to the White House as well.”

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IAVA’s Policy Agenda for the 116th Congress, “A Lasting Legacy” is a road map for America and contains the initiatives and recommendations that IAVA believes will address the most critical issues impacting the post-9/11 generation and improve the lives of veterans nationwide. See it here.

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.