2010 Legislative Agenda Introduces IAVA’s Annual Storm the Hill Campaign
NEW YORK, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest non-partisan organization representing veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, released its 2010 Legislative Agenda, a roadmap for Congress to address new veterans’ issues in the coming year. The agenda describes the issues IAVA will bring to Congress during its annual Storm the Hill trip in Washington, D.C. from February 6th – 12th.
“As troops come home from Iraq, and more head to Afghanistan, the need to implement broad change for new veterans is more critical than ever. IAVA’s 2010 Legislative Agenda and Storm the Hill campaign will deliver the tools to Washington to make our nation’s veterans a priority,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “IAVA will work with Congress, the Administration and other veterans organizations to show veterans of all generations that ‘we’ve got your back.’”
The IAVA 2010 Legislative Agenda articulates the most pressing challenges facing America’s newest generation of veterans and provides specific recommendations to address them. Key priorities include:
- Modernizing the outdated disability claims process
- Addressing the current problems with the Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Reducing unemployment among new veterans
- Eliminating the stigma associated with mental health care
- Improving care and benefits for female veterans
- Increasing support for the caregivers of wounded warriors
During Storm the Hill 2010, dozens of IAVA veterans will meet with over one hundred members of Congress and their staff, representatives from the Department of Defense, VA and the White House on the key issues facing new veterans. Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from across the country applied to participate in Storm the Hill 2010 campaign, and underwent an extensive selection process. Those veterans selected represent a diverse array of military service and personal experience, and will offer lawmakers a unique understanding of issues facing today’s veterans. Click here to meet this year’s veterans (http://www2.stormthehill.org/o/436/t/10486/content.jsp?content_KEY=6876).
A robust online component will make Storm the Hill 2010 a national, interactive campaign, where people anywhere in America can get involved and make an impact. IAVA’s “virtual constituency” of online supporters will have access to:
- An interactive map where users can ‘Make Their Mark” as a sign of support
- A compelling video with a overview on the trip
- Live Twitter feeds, images and video updates
- A tool to contact their Congressional representatives via Twitter to lobby for their support
IAVA’s Storm the Hill 2010 campaign features open press events throughout the week, both on and off Capitol Hill. Click here for a complete list of Storm the Hill 2010 events (http://www2.stormthehill.org/t/10486/content.jsp?content_KEY=6936).
For more information, visit www.StormTheHill.org.
In previous years, Storm the Hill has resulted in tremendous progress for veterans. In 2008, IAVA campaigned for a new Post-9/11 GI Bill, to ensure new veterans have access to the educational benefits they have earned. Less than five months after the campaign, the Post-9/11 GI Bill was signed in to law, sending thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to college. In 2009, IAVA campaigned for advance appropriations for the VA, to provide timely, predictable funding for veterans’ health care. At a press conference on the final day of the campaign, bipartisan legislation was introduced in both the House and Senate, calling for advance appropriations. Eight months later, President Obama signed the bill in to law at the White House with IAVA Member Veterans looking on.
To arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff and the veterans coming to Capitol Hill, please contact Michael Houston, Michael@iava.org.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the country’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 180,000 Members Veteran and Civilian supporters nationwide.
Follow IAVA on Twitter.com/IAVAPressRoom
SOURCE Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America