Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
CONTACT: Michael Houston, media@iava.org
Top Ten Actions Next President Must Take for Veterans
IAVA Sponsors RNC Care Package Event for Troops Serving in Iraq and Afghanistan

NEW YORK - Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest Iraq and Afghanistan veterans group, released the top ten most important actions the next president must take to support America's newest generation of troops and veterans. IAVA's highest priority for the next president is to ensure thorough, professional and confidential mental health screening for returning troops. Other critical actions include providing adequate care to wounded servicemembers and ending homelessness among veterans. The full list can be found at www.iava.org/topten. IAVA is calling on supporters to sign an open letter asking Senators Obama and McCain to pledge to care for our nation's veterans.

"This presidential election offers America the opportunity to turn the page on how its veterans have been treated since Vietnam," said Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). "From improving mental health care to ending homeless among these heroes, there are specific actions IAVA is calling on the next president to take in support of our veterans. These urgent issues rise above partisan politics."

IAVA will also sponsor a service event this Wednesday, September, 3, at the Republican National Convention to offer local veterans, military families, Twin Cities residents and convention delegates an opportunity to assemble care packages for troops serving overseas. The event will take place from 12:00pm-3:00pm CT at the Marriot Minneapolis City Center (30 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN) and is open to the press. Please RSVP to michael@iava.org.

IAVA veterans are attending the Republican National Convention throughout this week and are available to offer their opinions on the veterans vote this election and Wednesday's service event. They include: Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff (New York, NY), Chief Legislative Counsel Patrick Campell (Camarillo, CA), Veteran Membership Associate Andrew Roberts (Suffern, NY) and Policy Associate Tom Tarantino (San Anselmo, CA). To arrange an interview, please contact Michael Houston at (212) 982-9699 or media@iava.org.

IAVA veterans also attended last week's Democratic National Convention and sponsored a similar service event.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation's first and largest group for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A non-profit and nonpartisan organization, IAVA represents more than 100,000 veteran members and civilian supporters in all 50 states.