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IAVA Veterans Activate on National Mall Around Veteran Suicide

Washington, DC (October 1, 2018) —  This week, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the leading post-9/11 veterans empowerment organization, will activate on the National Mall to bring awareness and attention to the issue of veteran suicide. IAVA members and allies will plant thousands of flags representing every veteran and military suicide that occurred this year so far. This will be followed by a press conference on the National Mall at noon.

Twenty veteran and military suicides every day is twenty too many and IAVA will stand with our partners and allies to call attention to this issue. In 2014, we did a similar activation. In the four years since, the Clay Hunt SAV Act passed, mental health and suicide prevention programs nationwide expanded, and community based solutions and predictive analytics have been incorporated into suicide prevention measures. But still, the numbers remain troubling. And still, we must bring attention to this public health crisis.

WHAT: An Activation on the National Mall where IAVA members and allies will place 5,520 flags to visually represent all veteran and military suicides to date in 2018. Following, a press conference on the National Mall. Members of Congress, the White House, VA, DoD and the military are all invited to join us. Register to join us and spread the word.

WHEN: Oct 3, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.

WHERE: Washington DC National Mall, 101 14th street, NW Washington, DC 20560 (the east side of the Washington Monument).

MEDIA AVAILABILITY:

Press conference on location beginning at 12 PM. Press availability throughout the morning (set-up with volunteers begins at 7:00 AM). Please contact press@iava.org to coordinate.

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT SUICIDE

For nearly a decade, IAVA and the veteran community have called for immediate action by our nation’s leaders to appropriately respond to this crisis of 20 military and veterans dying every day from suicide. Thanks to the courage and leadership of veterans, military family members and our allies, there has been tremendous progress. The issue of veteran suicide is now the subject of national conversation, increased media coverage, a reduction in stigma and a surge of government and private support. In 2015, IAVA and our partners jump-started a national conversation. But the flood of need continues nationwide – and continues to rise. In our latest Member Survey, 65% of IAVA members knew a post-9/11 veteran who attempted suicide. 58% know a post-9/11 veteran that died by suicide. Every day, we are losing more of our brothers and sisters to suicide. This is not the time for America to let up. Instead, this is a time to redouble our efforts as a nation and answer the call to action. And IAVA will continue to maintain our leadership on that charge.

 

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.