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Thursday in LA: New California Veterans Assistance Program to Kick Off

WHAT: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will launch the expansion of its Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) to California this week. RRRP directly connects new veterans and their families to local resources and to one-on-one support with IAVA’s Veteran Transition Managers. RRRP helps cut through red tape and provides California post-9/11 veterans and their families with access to services ranging across employment, education, housing, mental health, and more.

IAVA started the RRRP program in New York City, and within a year it received a great response and served more than 1,000 veterans. Recognizing the need for this program nationally, IAVA is expanding RRRP through New York State and across California, where there are an estimated 237,000 post-9/11 veterans. California veterans face a number of critical challenges. More than 400,000 veterans are stuck in the VA backlog, including more than 10,000 in the L.A. Regional Office, who are waiting more than 125 days for a claim. Suicide is also a growing concern for new veterans: at least 22 veterans commit suicide every day, and a new study has found that the suicide rate among young male veterans rose by 44 percent in the past three years. New veterans are also now facing a cut to their retirement as a result of a bipartisan budget deal.

The expansion of RRRP to California has been made possible through the generous support of the Resnick Family Foundation.

WHO: Speakers expected to include IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff; California veterans; and representatives of veterans service providers.

WHEN: Thursday, January 23rd at 9 a.m. PDT

WHERE: Annenberg Space for Photography, Skylight Studios, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA

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.