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Wednesday in Albany: IAVA To Announce Statewide Expansion of Veterans Assistance Program

WHAT: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will announce the statewide expansion of the Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP, pronounced “rip” like a rip cord on a parachute) on March 12 at 10 a.m. in Albany. RRRP helps new veterans and their families cut through red tape and provides them with access to services ranging across employment, education, housing, mental health and more. New veterans and their families are connected to local resources and one-on-one support with IAVA’s Veteran Transition Managers.

New York veterans face a number of critical challenges. More than 368,000 veterans are stuck in the VA backlog, including more than 5,167 in the Buffalo 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 recent study found that the suicide rate among young male veterans rose by 44 percent in the past three years. Furthermore, last week the Bureau of Labor statistics reported a 9.2% unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans during the month of February – a jump from 7.9% in January. New York post-9/11 veterans face a 16.6 unemployment rate.

WHO: IAVA Staff, including case managers

New York Veterans

State Sen. Greg Ball

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto

WHEN: Wednesday, March 12 at 10 a.m. (Check-in and continental breakfast begin at 9:30am)

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, Room 104A, Albany, NY

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.