Blizzard Doesn’t Stop Veterans from Across America Storming the Capitol

February 11, 2010

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Despite two storms that crippled the Capital District, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest non-partisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, pushed through the snow and have been triumphant during their annual Storm the Hill week. See the inspiring photo and video content from the week here (http://stormthehill2010.tumblr.com/tagged/bestof).

IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff said, “Even two blizzards have not stopped Storm the Hill 2010. Fortune favors the bold, and our brave veterans will not be stopped by the weather. This week, they have shown America that our veterans are tough, resilient and committed. In the face of two massive storms, IAVA has adapted, improvised and overcome.”

Dozens of veterans from across the country travelled through snow, sleet, and blistering winds to come to Washington, D.C. to tell Congress their priorities in 2010. Navy Vet Steve Noakes from San Diego, California travelled for close to 24 hours to make it. Army Captain Sara Skinner from Atlanta, Georgia took a plane, train and automobile over the course of 2 days to be in Washington this week. The 29 veterans are an inspiring group of leaders who have taken their experience on the battlefield to Capitol Hill to fight for real change. Meet all the veterans here (http://www2.stormthehill.org/o/436/t/10486/content.jsp?content_KEY=6876).

Although many members of Congress stayed home this week, IAVA’s six teams (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Foxtrot and Golf) have been out in full force. They attended over 50 private meetings this week, sitting with several high-level members of Congress, including Senators Specter, Coburn, McCaskill and Baucus. Throughout the week they posted photos, video and tweeted in real time, so IAVA’s ten of thousands of online supporters could follow along from home.

The trip has already resulted in significant legislative progress. A number of Representatives committed on-the-spot to sign a critical dear colleague letter supporting disability reform. And immediately following IAVA’s meeting with Senator Baucus, he issued a press release (http://iava.org/press-room/press-releases/baucus-meets-top-vets-push-job-creation-among-returning-servicemembers) announcing his support for a veterans’ jobs bill directly from IAVA’s Legislative Agenda. This legislation will help reduce the staggering unemployment rate among new veterans. The veterans also discussed many of IAVA’s other key legislative priorities, including reforming the disability claims process, fixing the new GI Bill and modernizing the VA for female veterans.

Today at 4PM, Storm the Hill veterans will head over to the White House for a private tour and meeting. The White House visit will be followed by a huge evening membership event, with over 100 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans from throughout the Capital Beltway. The Storm the Hill celebratory event will take place from 7:00-10:00PM at K Street Lounge (1301 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005). Media are encouraged to attend. Tomorrow, on the final day of Storm the Hill, the IAVA team will tour the Capitol and Arlington Cemetery, including Section 60, where the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. Media are also invited to accompany the group of veterans on both of these tours.

Media wishing to talk to the veterans after the White House visit or join them on tours tomorrow can contact, Terrell Frazier, 917-743-0477; terrell@iava.org.

To arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff, a member veteran taking part in IAVA’s Storm the Hill campaign, or to access high res photos from the trip, contact Terrell Frazier, 917-743-0477, terrell@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 veteran members and civilian supporters nationwide.

SOURCE Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Source: newswire

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