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Leading National Veterans Org Convenes New Orleans Vet Leaders

NEW YORK, NY (April 13, 2017) — Tomorrow, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Founder and CEO, Paul Rieckhoff will join Zack Rosenburg, Co-Founder and CEO of the Saint Bernard Project (SBP) for an intimate lunch to discuss urgent veteran issues impacting former servicemembers in Louisiana. Guests will join IAVA and SBP to discuss what the new administration means for veterans, the changing landscape for women veterans, issues at the VA and the growing New Orleans veteran population. They’ll also discuss programs that work and need more national attention like SBP. 

“New Orleans is a hotbed for veteran innovation and support and a priority city for IAVA’s national work. Over 330,000 veterans live in Louisiana and thousands more are coming home. Thousands of IAVA members in the area are students, business creators and community leaders. America can never forget that when Katrina hit, many veterans ran toward the storm, moved to New Orleans and remain committed to its future today. We also look forward to sharing more about #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, which is gaining steam daily,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “We’re proud to partner with the leaders at SBP to host this critical conversation. Zack, Liz and their amazing team are continuing to set the pace for veterans innovation and disaster resiliency. They are an incredible story all of New Orleans should be proud of and all of American can learn from.”

WHAT: Lunch and discussion of national trends for vets, #SheWhoBorneTheBattle campaign and New Orleans-area veteran issues 

WHEN: Friday, April 14, 2017 12:00pm-1:30pm ET

WHERE: SBP National Headquarters, 2645 Toulouse Street, New Orleans, LA 70119

WHO: Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Please email press@iava.org to RSVP for the availability or if additional accommodations might be necessary for an interview around the event.

Paul Rieckhoff: Paul Rieckhoff is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), America’s first and largest organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. From 2003 to 2004, Rieckhoff served as an Army First Lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in Iraq.

Rieckhoff enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves in 1998 and then served in the U.S. Army Reserves. While working on Wall Street at J.P. Morgan in 1999, Rieckhoff transferred to the New York Army National Guard. He left Wall Street on September 7, 2001 with plans to travel and complete additional military schooling. Those plans would change dramatically when on the morning of September 11th he heard the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Seeing the smoke from his rooftop, Rieckhoff immediately joined scores of volunteers serving in the rescue effort at Ground Zero. In February 2002, Rieckhoff began Infantry Officers Basic Course and in January 2003 Rieckhoff received the call to deploy to Iraq.


Rieckhoff is a nationally recognized authority on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and a broad range of issues affecting troops, veterans and their families, Rieckhoff has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs. His first book, “Chasing Ghosts”, was a critically-acclaimed account of his experiences in Iraq and advocacy on behalf of veterans.

She Who Borne The Battle: More than 345,000 women have deployed since 9/11. Women are the fastest-growing segment of the veteran population and that trend will continue as the number of male veterans simultaneously declines over the next five years. However, many female veterans are left without the proper care to support their needs when they return from their service. She Who Borne the Battle will change this by providing a foundation of public awareness, local support and policy changes solely targeted at supporting and empowering female veterans. Learn more at SheWhoBorneTheBattle.org

SBP: SBP was founded in March 2006 by Zack Rosenburg and Liz McCartney after the couple, who originally lived in Washington, D.C., volunteered in Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish following Hurricane Katrina. The parish, located just outside of New Orleans, was rendered 100% uninhabitable by Katrina’s floodwaters. Seeing the inefficiency and unbearably slow progress of the institutional – or “traditional” rebuilding process, but inspired by the residents’ collective spirit and fierce determination to rebuild, Zack and Liz launched SBP to help them achieve their recovery goals.

With the tremendous support of donors, volunteers and corporate partners, SBP has grown from a three-person volunteer team into a national organization, recognized as a leader in disaster resilience and recovery, whose mission is to shrink time between disaster and recovery.

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.