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Admiral Mike Mullen To Be Honored at IAVA’s Heroes Gala in New York

New York (August 14, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, announces Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the honoree at the Eighth Annual Heroes Gala in November celebrating IAVA’s 10th Anniversary. IAVA will present Mullen with the 2014 IAVA Veteran Leadership Award on Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the sixth year in a row.

The IAVA Heroes Gala is the premier fundraising event of Veterans Week in New York. Tickets can be purchased here.

“IAVA is extremely excited to honor Admiral Mike Mullen for his incredible service to our community,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Each fall we look forward to the Heroes Gala, where we celebrate our new greatest generation of veterans and those who have shown the utmost support for them. Admiral Mullen has been a courageous leader throughout his entire military career and that has only increased since his retirement. We are proud to present the Veteran Leadership Award this November to Admiral Mike Mullen, who will be accepting on behalf of all veterans.”

A Los Angeles native, Admiral Mike Mullen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. He commanded at every level in the Navy and became the Navy’s highest-ranking officer, the 28th Chief of Naval Operations (2005-2007). He also served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2007-2011), and was the principal military advisor to President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

Mullen led the military during a critical period of transition. He advocated for the rapid development and fielding of innovative technologies, championed emerging and enduring international partnerships, and advanced new methods for combating terrorism – all of which directly culminated in the termination of Osama bin Laden.

Mike Mullen and his wife, Deborah, remain staunch advocates of veterans, their families and the families of the fallen. Both interact with a broad range of issues including drawing public attention and institutional focus to the challenges of post-traumatic stress, combat-related brain injury, death by suicide, care of the wounded, veteran employment and homelessness. Admiral Mullen is also on the board of the Robin Hood Veterans Initiative, which provides grants to IAVA and other Veteran Service Organizations.

IAVA’s 1Oth Anniversary Celebration

IAVA is the country’s first and largest nonprofit organization for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, with more than 200,000 member veterans and supporters nationwide. Our mission is to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. IAVA fulfills this mission by delivering services in four key impact areas: health, education, employment and building a lasting community for veterans and their families (HEEC). IAVA is the only organization that provides a robust and transformative support network for new veterans from their deployments, through their transition home, and throughout the rest of their lives.

As one of the premiere Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) in the country, IAVA has been designated as a “Four Star Charity” by the nonprofit charity evaluation organization Charity Navigator—it’s highest ranking. IAVA has also been given an A rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy, and was named one of the Best Charities in America by the Independent Charities of America. Time Magazine said in an article that “IAVA is the most important organization representing the new generation of veterans.”

Each year, IAVA recognizes individuals who have shown an immense dedication to the veterans community. Past honorees include Jon Stewart, Host of ‘The Daily Show; Peter G. Peterson, co-founder of the Blackstone Group and founder of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder and visionary of Sesame Workshop; Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report; David Gelbaum, CEO of Entech Solar and founder of the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (IADIF); President of MTV Networks Van Toffler; Arnold Fisher, Senior Partner of Fisher Brothers; Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Sal Guinta, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, best-selling author and Army veteran Wes Moore, “Dancing with the Stars” winner and veteran J.R. Martinez, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Council on Foreign Relations President Emeritus Leslie Gelb, Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark, MSNBC’s anchor Willie Geist, Super Bowl Champion Coach Bill Cowher, Singer Nora Jones, OAR’s lead vocalist Marc Roberge and Honorary Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff.

IAVA’s Eighth Annual Heroes Gala top sponsors, as of Aug. 14, 2014, include MillerCoors, USAA, Turner Broadcasting and Western Asset Management. To sponsor the Heroes Gala click here.

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to arrange an interview with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or other IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its tenth year, IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.


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