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Veterans Launch ‘Operation Unite America’ As Election Approaches

NEW YORK, NY (November 2, 2016) – During Veterans Week, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will lead Veterans Day community events across the country with one goal: to unite all Americans behind our nation’s 22 million veterans. In New York City, more than 800 IAVA members and supporters will march in the New York City Veterans Day parade and thousands more will gather at dozens of events across the country from: Hartford, CT, to San Antonio, TX, to Las Vegas, Nevada. This year’s Veterans Day festivities will take place the the day after the 10th Annual IAVA Heroes Gala which celebrates and honors veterans of all generations.

“On the night of the Commander in Chief Forum, IAVA challenged the two Presidential candidates to unite in New York City after Veterans Day. We commit to bringing our nation together after a rough election season, and we challenge all Americans to come together behind our nation’s veterans on November 11,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “Operation Unite America seeks to do the impossible, but we believe that uniting around our nation’s veterans will lead our country toward a brighter, less divisive future.”

In NYC, IAVA is proud to join parade organizers, the United War Veterans Council and this year’s three parade Grand Marshals, all 9/11 First Responders and Post-9/11 military veterans, Joe Duggan, U.S Army, Stephanie Dawson, U.S. Army and Nelson Vergara, U.S. Marine Corps. Full details on official IAVA events nationwide can be found here.

“Regardless of who wins next Tuesday, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, IAVA is calling all Americans to unite with and around our veterans next week,” continued Rieckhoff. “Join us at one of our many VetTogethers in communities across the country or be one of the thousands celebrating with us in New York City.”

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IAVA’s activities in New York City are possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Victory Motorcycles and CAA. Before marching in the NYC Veterans Day Parade, IAVA members will gather at 23rd Street in front of the historic Flatiron Building for breakfast beginning at 9 a.m., depart at approximately noon and move north on Fifth Avenue and finishing at 59th Street.

The night before Veterans Day, on November 10, in New York, IAVA will host its Tenth Annual Heroes Gala. Veterans of all generations from across America will gather as IAVA presents the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Les Gelb, a renowned journalist and philanthropist. IAVA will award the Veterans Leadership Award to Under Secretary of the Army, Patrick Murphy. The 2016 IAVA Civilian Leadership Award will be presented to Kenneth Fisher, Chairman & CEO, Fisher House Foundation. Willie Geist, anchor of NBC’s ” Sunday TODAY” show and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” will host the event. IAVA supporter General (Ret.) David Petraeus will provide remarks as a special guest.

More information on the Heroes Gala can be found here.

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.