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IAVA: President Should Support Female Vets in State of the Union

Leading veterans organization calls on president to speak out on behalf of women

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 7, 2016) — Tuesday, as President Obama addresses the nation in his final State of the Union speech, the nearly three million military members in service since 2001 call on him to prioritize bipartisan action on behalf of female veterans. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s largest organization representing veterans from the post-9/11 wars, sites the 280,000 women who have served in the recent wars who regularly report barriers to care and benefits in a military culture that often does not fully accept or recognize them. IAVA urges the president to lay out a comprehensive plan for addressing these issues.

“Though we are less than a year away from a new president being elected, this is no time for President Obama to lose steam on veterans issues,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Last year, veterans united Congress and the White House through the passage of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, created and led by IAVA and signed into law in February, and the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which was passed as one of the final acts of Congress in the last session.

“Though the quality of care and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs to dramatically improve across the board, women especially need to see improvements in their standard of care,” Rieckhoff concluded.

Each year, IAVA provides a comprehensive policy agenda with hundreds of actionable items covering 11 key issues that will help improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. This agenda was delivered to the White House, the VA, and Members of Congress in October 2015 and includes reform measures at the VA, the prioritization of women veterans, cracking down on for-profit schools taking advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and implementation of the critical measures of the SAV Act.

IAVA members will be live-tweeting during the address using the hashtag #SOTUVets.

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