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IAVA Statement on Fort Hood Events

New York, NY (April 3, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America today issued this statement from Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff following the tragic events from Fort Hood:

“The military and veteran community is an incredibly tight knit group and our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the Fort Hood tragedy. IAVA’s #1 priority right now is to provide support to our community in Texas and worldwide. We ask all Americans to make it their priority too.

While we still don’t know the details about what motivated yesterday’s tragic events, it’s important we remember that our men and women currently in uniform and the veterans who have returned home from the wars are amongst the finest and most dedicated people in America and the actions of one individual don’t diminish or change that fact. In moments like this, there is a tendency by some to paint a broad brush across the entire veterans community and it’s important to guard against that mistake. We encourage everyone–especially those in the media and political positions–to be thoughtful and responsible in their reactions and to remember that correlation does not imply causation.

At the same time we recognize that the vast majority of our military and vets are not in crisis, we must all acknowledge that there are indeed problems with the way mental health care and transitional support is managed and available to our servicemembers and veterans. As we did last week in Washington with our Campaign to Combat Suicide during Storm the Hill, IAVA will continue to advocate for urgent and practical solutions to these problems and challenge our leaders to help us solve them in the weeks and months ahead.”

IAVA’s 2014 Policy Agenda is available here.

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) 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 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.