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U.S. Senator John Walsh to Announce Historic Suicide Prevention Bill at IAVA Day of Action

WASHINGTON, DC (March 26, 2014) – U.S. Senator John Walsh, one of two combat veterans in the U.S. Senate, will join Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), representatives from veteran service organizations and guests at the National Day of Action to Combat Suicide. Walsh will announce an historic piece of legislation that will address the most pressing issues related to the veteran suicide crisis.

Thursday morning, volunteers will place 1,892 American Flags on the Mall representing the number of veterans estimated to have died by suicide to date in 2014. The event will conclude with a program at 11am featuring IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff, Senator Walsh and Kim Ruocco, Director of Suicide Postvention Programs at TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors).

The National Day of Action is the culmination of IAVA’s 10th Annual “Storm the Hill” week of advocacy during which 32 member vets from across the country have held over 130 meetings with Members of Congress, senior officials at the Pentagon and at the White House. Each “Stormer” has a personal story that illustrates why suicide prevention is the number one issue for post-9/11 veterans.

What: National Day of Action to Combat Suicide – Flag Planting and Program

Who: U.S. Senator John Walsh (MT)

Paul Rieckhoff – CEO and Founder, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Kim Ruocco – Director of Suicide Postvention Programs at TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)

IAVA Veteran Members from across the United States

Where: On the National Mall at 12th Street NW, Washington DC

When: 10 am EDT flag planting begins on National Mall

11 am EDT Speaking program begins

11:30 am EDT Speaking program ends and flag-planting resumes

Note: Mult Box will be available

To RSVP and receive additional information, please contact Press@IAVA.org

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.