NEW YORK, NY (November 11, 2014) – Today, post-9/11 veterans, families, and civilian supporters of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will participate in Veterans Day from coast-to-coast in 48 community events. Highlights include the launching of IAVA’s redesigned website, more than 800 veterans and their families marching in the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, and 100 IAVA members participating in “The Concert for Valor” in Washington, D.C.
“We have an important message for everyone this Veterans Day: vets are rising,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Our veterans are a solution, not a problem. And they aren’t a charity, they are an investment for our country. This holiday is not just a day for Americans to take off from work. It’s a chance to honor the living veterans and their sacrifices to this country – the bedrock of our nation’s freedom. Every day is Veterans Day and IAVA hopes to continue that spirit and support all through the year by promoting the #VetsRising message.”
Rieckhoff added: “We are also excited to unveil our new IAVA.org website today! Our new site not only has the newest dynamic look on the web, it will allow us to use new technologies to serve our members better in the years to come. In the next few months we will announce some exciting new features that will unite our community and truly illustrate what it means when we say we are #VetsRising.”
From starting new businesses to giving back to their neighbors, the 2.8 million post-9/11 veterans are doing amazing things every day to make their communities a better place. Nationwide, veterans and supporters are encouraged to using the hashtag #VetsRising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms to show the world how veterans are not just meeting today’s challenges, they are rising above them.
Before marching in today’s New York City Veterans Day Parade, more than 800 IAVA members will gather at 23rd Street in front of the historic Flatiron Building for breakfast beginning at 9 a.m. They will step off around noon and move north up Fifth Avenue. The marchers will finish at 59th Street and move to a reception at St. Bart’s Church, 325 Park Ave, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The reception will include information on the New GI Bill and IAVA’s Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) case managers – who connect vets with housing, education, mental health, legal and other services. The reception will also include food, drinks, music, a photobooth and entertainment for military children, including coloring and crafts.
In Washington, D.C., IAVA is one of only 16 organizations selected by organizers to participate in “The Concert for Valor.” The event, hosted by Starbucks, HBO and JPMorgan Chase, is a unique and free event to honor the sacrifice of America’s veterans, active duty servicemembers and their families, and raise awareness for veteran service organizations dedicated to education, wellness, reemployment and reintegration. Visitors to www.theconcertforvalor.com are encouraged to go to www.iava.org/donate to help further IAVA’s mission to improve the lives of post-9/11 veterans and their families.
Paul Rieckhoff will also attend the Veteran’s Day breakfast at the White House.
IAVA Veterans Day partners in New York and nationwide include Victory Motorcycles, Southwest Airlines, Miller High Life, Military.com and Creative Artist Agency.
On Thursday night in New York, IAVA will host its Annual Heroes Gala Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary. Veterans of all generations from across America will gather as IAVA presents the 2014 IAVA Veterans Leadership Award to Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The 2014 IAVA Civilian Service Award will be presented to Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder of Uber. Willie Geist, co-anchor of NBC’s “TODAY” show and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” will host the event. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald will also be speaking.
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with 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 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.