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TODAY in DC at 4PM: Veteran Leaders ‘Storm the Hill’ to End Guard Bonus Scandal

WASHINGTON, DC (December 7, 2016) — Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) veteran members will “Storm the Hill” to demand Congress take action to make whole veterans and servicemembers affected by the California National Guard bonus claw-back scandal. IAVA members will apply pressure at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee that is investigating the bonus scandal.

WHAT: At today’s House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee hearing, IAVA members demand Congress take definitive action to repay veterans and servicemembers forced to return reenlistment bonus payments. IAVA is seeking resolution not just for California Guardsmen already impacted, but any servicemember or veteran that can expect to be hit with this surprise in future state audits.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 4:00pm ET

WHO: Allison Jaslow, Chief of Staff Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Anthony Pike, Chief Program Officer Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Tom Porter, Legislative Director Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Jeffrey Wells, IAVA DC Team Member
Thor Wold, IAVA DC Team Member
Shah Chowdhury, IAVA DC Team Member
Gail Schnell, IAVA DC Team Member
Naveed Shah, IAVA DC Team Leader

WHERE: Hearing Room 2118 of the Rayburn House Office Building

NOTE TO PRESS: Immediately following the hearing, IAVA leadership and members will be available to speak with press. Please RSVP to press@iava.org.

Allison Jaslow, as Chief of Staff, oversees management, operations, administration and all internal functions at IAVA. Jaslow is a former Army Captain who served two combat deployments in Iraq and has a diversity of experience that includes stints on political campaigns across the country, in the White House and on both sides of Capitol Hill.

Jaslow recently served as Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and was also Press Secretary for Senator Jim Webb where she was involved in efforts to protect the legacy of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Jaslow has recently contributed to the Pregame Magazine Podcast, Financial Times and other veteran and military media outlets.

Anthony Pike, as Chief Program Officer, leads development of the vision, strategic priorities and management of IAVA’s programming and member engagement, both online and offline.Anthony enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 2000. He served his first Iraq tour in Baghdad beginning in January 2004. In March 2006, Anthony deployed for a second tour to Ramadi, Iraq. He recently completed his bachelor’s degree in Aviation at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Tom Porter, as Legislative Director leads IAVA’s efforts to advocate for our nation’s veterans in Washington, D.C., while bringing greater attention to veterans’ issues by the American public. Prior to joining IAVA, Porter was Vice President at Morgan Meguire, a federal government relations firm, since 2004. He was successful in achieving goals on behalf of a nationwide client base through aggressive and bi-partisan advocacy before Congress and federal agencies. Prior to Morgan Meguire, he served nine years on the staffs of three Members of Congress, most recently with former House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter. Porter is also a veteran military public affairs officer with service on four continents, including deployments to Afghanistan and the Arabian Gulf. He is a California native and holds a B.A. in Political Science from California State University, San Bernardino. Porter is also a spokesman for IAVA policy priorities, and has recently contributed to POLITICO, NPR, PBS NewsHour, Military Times, Stars and Stripes.

Jeffrey Wells is a disabled Navy Petty Officer 1st Class and active IAVA Member Leader in Maryland. He deployed to OIF twice and OEF twice. He is the founder of the Connected Warrior Foundation. Wells resides in Annapolis, MD, and is part of an active veteran community there. Wells is active in local and national advocacy efforts and takes veteran suicide prevention extremely seriously.

Thor Wold is an active IAVA Member Leader in Washington D.C.. Wold currently serves as a managing partner with Catalyst Venture Group, a venture capital and consulting firm dedicated to growing small business startups and helping other Veterans realize their business potential. Wold has also worked closely on many Veteran advocacy projects, working to bridge the gap between the VSO and Department of Veteran Affairs communities to realize goals that lead to impactful, positive change for the Veteran Community. His thoughts on Veteran re-integration and employment are featured in the book Glimpses of the New Veteran: Changed Constituencies, Different Disabilities, and Evolving Resolutions – which he proudly co-authored along with many other luminaries and dedicated advocates within the veteran community.

Wold served eight years as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman, serving two combat tours in Iraq with U.S. Marine Infantry units, where he earned a purple heart. When not actively deployed to combat zones, Wold worked as a military EMS provider, as well as an instructor in tactical emergency medicine techniques.

Shah Chowdhury currently works in finance and is an MBA student at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. Shah has been active with IAVA on Capitol Hill on veterans’ issues such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill and veterans suicide. He has been interviewed on MSBNC and Fox-5 DC on several occasions as well as quoted in newspapers such as the Washington Post and The Guardian. Shah served four years as a US Army Field Artillery Officer with a 15-month deployment to Baghdad. In his spare time, Shah actively trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Gail Schnell is a US Army OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) Veteran as well as the President and CEO of Schnell-Tech Solutions LLC. Gail is involved in numerous organizations in her community including Team RWB, IAVA, Team Rubicon, The Mission Continues and Veterans Voices. She also has mentored veterans on entrepreneurship as well as mentored middle school girls on Cyber Security and STEM. She has received multiple awards and honors for her work in the community and also serves as a Board of Directors Member & Chair of the External Affairs Committee for the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA).

Naveed Shah is a previous Stormer who has also completed a legislative and advocacy internship in the D.C. office. Naveed joined the U.S. Army in 2006 and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2009 to 2010. As a leadership fellow, Naveed often hosts VetTogethers in the Philadelphia and D.C. area.

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.