Post-9/11 Veterans Descend on DC Demanding Change
Washington, DC (December 14, 2018) — This week, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the leading post-9/11 veterans empowerment organization, hosted it’s fourth Storm the Hill of 2018. IAVA Member Leaders from across the country descended upon Washington, DC for a week of advocacy, leadership, and impact.
All year, IAVA has fought tirelessly for the post-9/11 generation. From pushing for accountability on burn pits, to focusing the nation’s attention on veteran suicide and all of IAVA’s Big 6 Priorities, IAVA has led the charge on the issues that matter most to the post-9/11 generation.
On Tuesday, IAVA held an impactful press conference on Capitol Hill with Representatives Tulsi Gabbard and Brian Mast and members of the VSO community to highlight three of our Big 6 policy priorities: the current GI Bill issues, burn pits and toxic exposures, recognition of and support to women veterans. You can see photos from the day here. And watch the full Press Conference here.
Continuing the momentum of Winter Storm the Hill, IAVA delivered two important testimonies in New York. IAVA’s client-based Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) Senior Veteran Transition Manager (VTM) Vadim Panasyuk delivered a powerful testimony on veteran employment and the RRRP program to the New York State Assembly. His full statement can be found here. And Chief of Services Officer Hannah Sinoway delivered an impactful testimony on the RRRP Program and the GI Bill before the New York City Council Committees on Veterans and Higher Education. Read Hannah’s full testimony here.
As always, IAVA’s Winter Stormers took to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the post-9/11 generation. Advocacy efforts included a coffee meeting with Senator Klobuchar, the lead Sponsor on the IAVA-backed Burn Pits Accountability Act, and meetings with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) about IAVA’s Big 6 Priorities.
The Winter Storm the Hill has already garnered tangible outcomes for our backed legislation, as the Burn Pits Accountability Act (S. 3181/H.R. 5671) gained 4 new cosponsors: Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), and Raul Grijalva (D-NJ).
“We’re grateful for all our cosponsors’ leadership on this important piece of legislation,” said Melissa Bryant, Chief Policy Officer for IAVA. “Storm the Hill is always a unique and impactful experience and our final Storm the Hill of the year proved no different. As we close out 2018, we want to thank all those who have come to Storm with us and supported the work of these fearless advocates and leaders. We can’t do this critical and important work alone.”
About Storm the Hill. IAVA’s Storm the Hill is a quarterly advocacy and leadership development campaign and the most powerful non-partisan policy impact program for post-9/11 vets in America. Started in 2005, IAVA’s Storm The Hill began with just five young veteran leaders sharing a single cheap hotel room and begging for meetings from Members of Congress disconnected from war and veterans issues. Today, Storm The Hill has grown into an internationally-recognized powerhouse of impact and a model of citizen power and grassroots success celebrated by both parties, international media and the White House. Storm The Hill was created to ensure that our members worldwide have a voice in Washington. And it has grown to be a true force, leading efforts to expand body armor, create the New GI Bill and pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act. More details updated regularly at www.StormTheHill.org
About The Big 6. The Big 6 contains the challenges and opportunities that IAVA members care about most – and see as areas where we can uniquely make an impact. IAVA members are poised to educate the public, design solutions for positive impact, and lead the way to the future. That starts with our 2018 Big Six. Each Big 6 Priority will drive toward outcomes in 4 key areas: 1) Public Awareness 2) Executive Action 3) Legislative Change 4) Local Support. IAVA’s broader and comprehensive Policy Agenda covers issues ranging from homelessness to employment to a national memorial for post-9/11 veterans and can be found online here.