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Vets to GOP Candidates: Lay Out Vet-focused Policies in CNBC Debate

I AVA provides 11-point policy blueprint for caring for veterans and their families

BOULDER, Colo. (October 27, 2015) – Wednesday, as the 2016 presidential race continues with the third Republican primary debate hosted by CNBC, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will hold a rally at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Coors Event Center putting candidates on notice that they will be held accountable to veterans. IAVA, the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, also looks to the moderators to press candidates to outline specific policies that address the issues facing our nation’s post-9/11 veterans and their families.

“Less than two weeks ago President Obama announced that the U.S. military will continue it’s mission in Afghanistan through 2017. Candidates must not only provide strategies for Afghanistan, they must put forward concrete policies that will support every man and woman that comes home from war,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Founder and CEO. “Candidates continue to avoid veterans issues but with this announcement, there is absolutely no excuse. The post-9/11 veteran community will not stand on the sidelines while our issues are ignored. This is why we will be on hand in Boulder, as a nonpartisan organization, to challenge every candidate to stand with our vets and to ensure our voices are heard.”

To spur the debate around veterans’ issues, IAVA sent letters to the DNC and RNC chairs urging them and the debate sponsors to select an upcoming presidential debate to be focused exclusively on veteran and military issues. IAVA also asked the national parties to support an IAVA-hosted event focused on one-on-one conversations with each candidate on veterans issues.

“CNBC is a well respected news outlet within the veteran community,” Rieckhoff continued, “and tonight is a perfect opportunity for them to ask questions like:

• How would you stop the outrageous rate of veteran suicide in America?
• How would you have reacted to the VA scandal that emerged in Phoenix last year?
• Would you privatize the VA?
• Would you keep or replace VA Secretary Bob McDonald?
• How specifically would you provide better care to our women veterans?
• Why did you choose to not serve in the military?
• What is your reaction to the historic news of two women graduating from Army Ranger school for the first time?”

As part of IAVA’s presence in Boulder, IAVA Chief Policy Officer Matt Miller will announce the release of their Policy Agenda. Each year, IAVA provides a comprehensive policy agenda complete with hundreds of actionable items covering 11 key issues that will help improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. Each candidate who is serious about becoming commander-in-chief is encouraged to review and adopt IAVA’s Policy Agenda as part of their campaign platform.

IAVA will also host a special VetTogether debate watch party with IAVA members and local veterans at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Glenn Miller Ballroom. IAVA members can RSVP here. IAVA also encourages veteran members and supporters nationally to use the hashtag #IAVAVotes throughout the debate to focus social media attention on vets issues.

The CNBC GOP debate will take place at the University of Colorado Boulder at 6 p.m. MT / 8 p.m. ET. To stay up-to-date on which of the 18 candidates have provided positions on veterans issues, voters can visit IAVA’s Presidential Tracker at IAVA.org/iavavotes.



WHAT:  CNBC Republican Primary Debate Rally

WHEN:  Wednesday, October 28, 2015
  4:30 p.m. MT

WHERE:  University of Colorado Boulder – Coors Event Center
Southwest Corner of Engineering Drive and Regent Drive
Boulder, CO 80305
WHO:  Matt Miller, IAVA Chief Policy Officer
 Jordan Daniel, IAVA Member

WHAT:  IAVA VetTogether and Debate Watch Party

WHEN:  Immediately Following Debate Rally

WHERE:  University of Colorado Boulder – Glenn Miller Ballroom

1669 Euclid Avenue (corner of Broadway and Euclid Avenue)
Boulder, CO 80302
WHO:  Matt Miller, IAVA Chief Policy Officer; Anthony Pike, IAVA Chief Programs Officer; Mark Szymanski, IAVA Chief Communications Officer; local IAVA members and veterans

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.