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IAVA Statement on Secretary Shinseki Resignation

New York, NY (May 30, 2014) – Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki today resigned after increasing pressure surrounding the VA scandal that has plagued the VA for over a month.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) released the following statement:

“IAVA members are outraged as this scandal has grown and they are ready for new management, new oversight, and new energy. Our members welcome this change at the VA. As we prepare for a new head of the VA, we respectfully thank General Shinseki for his lifetime of service to our nation,” said CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff.

“President Obama now has the opportunity and a moral obligation to step up and demonstrate his own leadership and bring under control a deep systemic element of incompetence and corruption that clearly exists in the VA. Regardless of the long history of troubles at the VA, this crisis has occurred under his watch, and America’s vets are looking to the Commander in Chief to act quickly. President Obama must move now to appoint an energetic Secretary who is unafraid to make bold changes and work quickly and aggressively to change the VA system. Over 9 million vets who rely on its care are depending on it,” Rieckhoff added.

“We encourage the President to look for an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who will lead an aggressive turnaround of the VA.

“IAVA members are standing by to work with the President to improve the VA but we should be clear that America’s veterans will not accept a symbolic change of management alone. We know and respect Sloan Gibson and are standing by to support him but this is just the first step on a long path to true reform. It will be a tough fight but IAVA members are up for it and stand ready to lead and serve.”

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.

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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.