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Servicemembers, Veterans Honored During Memorial Day Weekend

New York, NY (May 23, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s largest non-profit, non-partisan organization for post-9/11 veterans and their families, will participate in a series of events this weekend to honor Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

On Saturday, IAVA will join the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for the National Reading of the Names which will begin at 9 a.m. at the National Mall. This will be the first time that names of the nearly 7,000 servicemembers who were killed in action during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be read aloud on the National Mall. IAVA Member Ann Weeby, an Iraq War veteran, will represent the organization. More than 450 Americans will be participating in the event, including the Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, and General David Petraeus, USA (Ret.).

On Monday, IAVA members will participate in wreath-laying events at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC and at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. At Arlington National Cemetery, IAVA members will walk to Section 60. In New York, Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA CEO & Founder, will be available for interviews about Memorial Day as well as the growing VA scandal.

For the third year, IAVA is leading the “Go Silent” campaign, which encourages Americans to pledge and be silent for a full minute at 12:01 p.m. EDT on Memorial Day. The online pledge allows for the pledge to be made in honor of a fallen veteran. IAVA members and supporters have embraced technology like the Go Silent website for a shared nationwide experience.

Saturday: National Reading of the Names

WHAT: National Reading of the Names, where nearly 7,000 America servicemembers’ names will be read on the National Mall

WHO: In order of appearance:

The Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)

Major Heather Penney, USAFR

Ruth Stonesifer, Gold Star Mother of Kristofer Tif Stonesifer

Ann Weeby, ARNG, IAVA Member

Captain Jason Haag, USMC (Ret.) and board member of K9s for Warriors

The Honorable John McHugh, Secretary of the Army

WHEN: Saturday, May 24, 2014

Opening Ceremony begins at 9 am

Reading of the Names begins at 10 am

Closing Ceremony at 6:30 pm

WHERE: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (along Constitution Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets, northeast of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall)

Monday in Washington DC: National Memorial Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery

WHAT: IAVA members lay wreath at Arlington National Cemetery and walk to Section 60

WHO: IAVA member Ann Weeby

Post-9/11 veterans

WHEN: Monday, May 26, 2014

A prelude concert by the United States Navy Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m.

A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11 a.m. and will be followed by an observance program in the amphitheater.

WHERE: Arlington National Cemetery, 1 Memorial Ave Arlington, VA 22211

Monday in New York: Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Memorial Day Ceremony and Paul Rieckhoff availability

WHAT: IAVA members participate in wreath-laying ceremony

WHO: Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Founder and CEO

Derek Bennett, IAVA Chief of Staff

WHEN: Monday, May 26 at 1 PM

WHERE: Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Pier 86 W 46th St and 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036

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.