Donate

Will the Battle in Iraq Finally Force a Debate Discussion on Veterans Issues?

NEW YORK, NY (October 19, 2016) – As U.S. troops in Iraq are waged in battle, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) renews its call for the next Commander-in-Chief to show America’s 22 million veterans that they have their backs. IAVA, the nation’s leading voice of the Post-9/11 Generation of Veterans, looks specifically to the moderator, Chris Wallace, to press the candidates to outline how their Administration will care for our veterans if elected President.

“Once again, American troops are risking their lives abroad while their efforts are largely overlooked here at home. Our candidates to be Commander-in-Chief should turn their attention tonight to those on the ground in Mosul, Iraq and and around the world and articulate clearly how their Administration will support them and their families when they return to U.S. soil,” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “Tonight’s debate must continue the urgent conversation around veteran issues started at last month’s IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum. Our nation’s 22 million veterans, who vote at a rate significantly higher than other Americans, will be tuned in and looking for the candidates to show leadership by tackling our issues head on.”

Rieckhoff continued, “Fighting in Iraq has made headlines this week, but the sacrifice of those on the frontlines has merely been a footnote in this year’s Presidential campaign. We call on both candidates and Mr. Wallace to leverage this final opportunity to finally ensure veterans have the answers they deserve in tonight’s debate.”

IAVA encourages the moderator and audience members to press for answers to vital questions posed by IAVA members including:

-How would you stop the outrageous rate of 20 veteran suicides in America every day?
-Would you privatize the VA or not? Specifically, how would you improve services for veterans at the VA?
-Do you support the plan in the Senate to cut the Post-9/11 GI Bill by approximately $3B included in the “Veterans First” act?
-Will you stand with veterans and oppose all cuts to the New GI Bill?
-Would you keep or replace VA Secretary Bob McDonald, and why?
-How specifically would you provide better care to our women veterans?
-Why did you choose to not serve in the military?

There are over 22 million veterans in America. According to IAVA’s most recent Member Survey, over 93% of IAVA members intend to vote this November.

IAVA encourages veteran members and supporters nationally to use the hashtag #IAVAVotes before, during and after the debate to focus social media attention on vets issues.

To stay up-to-date on both candidates’ veterans policy positions, and to see IAVA’s comprehensive Policy Agenda recommendations for all candidates, visit IAVA.org/iavavotes/.

IAVA is the leading voice of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in Washington and communities nationwide. Led by veterans, our non-partisan advocacy work ensures that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families are supported, protected and never forgotten.

Since 2004, IAVA has been a juggernaut in Washington, creating and driving the national conversation on issues ranging from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to women veteran issues to veteran unemployment. IAVA’s dedicated staff in Washington, D.C. leads this work, advocating on behalf of our members daily. We also train our member veterans to be powerful advocates for their community. IAVA is focused on results and has delivered historic impacts. Every year since 2007, in an increasingly gridlocked political environment and with an extremely limited operating budget, IAVA has passed at least one major piece of groundbreaking legislation for our community ranging from the Post-9/11 GI Bill (2008), to the VOW to Hire Heroes Act (2011), to The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act (2015).



See IAVA’s Advocacy Program Digital Hub the full list of victories and to learn more about how you can help.

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.