Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Celebrates Committee Passage of VA Motto Update
Calls for Updated VA Motto to be More Inclusive of Women Veterans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 30, 2020
New York, NY – Today Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) celebrated passage by the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) long-sought legislation to update the current outdated VA motto to make it gender-neutral and make the Department more welcoming to the increasing numbers of women who have served in uniform. This effort was led by IAVA and was the cornerstone of IAVA’s ground-breaking #SheWhoBorneTheBattle campaign launched in 2017.
“For over three years IAVA has been calling for a refresh of the VA motto and today we commend the Committee for its bipartisan action in support of this important change, sponsored by Reps. Kathleen Rice and Brian Mast. Hopefully this is a first step towards a more inclusive motto representative of the post-9/11 generation,” IAVA Executive VP Tom Porter said. “Every veteran should feel welcome at the VA in an environment that celebrates the service of America’s female veterans as much as their male counterparts. This is a critical first step and much more work needs to be done.”
“It’s important to note that although VA Secretary Wilkie has the power to change the motto, it’s clear that he will not provide the leadership required to make it happen. Therefore a legislative solution is required. We call on House leaders to bring this up expeditiously for a floor vote and to work with the Senate to pass this before the end of this Congress. Our women warriors have been waiting far too long,” Added Porter.
Over 345,000 women have deployed since 9/11 and IAVA has been at the forefront pushing for a culture change to fully recognize and improve services for female veterans. Learn more about IAVA’s work on these efforts here.
Founded by an Iraq veteran in 2004, IAVA is the non-partisan leader in advocacy, public awareness and 1-on-1 care management and peer support. We organize locally, drive historic impacts nationally and fight for over 400,000 veterans and their allies nationwide. If a veteran or their family is in need of assistance now, please reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at www.quickreactionforce.org or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist you. Visit IAVA’s The Vote Hub at www.votehub.org to register to vote and find polling information.