"What does IAVA mean to you?"
Last May, IAVA asked thousands of members and supporters across the country that exact question. You told us loud and clear: Honor. Service. Community. And together, your voices helped us define the values and identity of our movement.
One year later, I'm proud to carry it forward—literally. Watch this short video about what IAVA means to me, and how I'm making my mark to spread our mission every day.
I proudly served 15 months in Afghanistan as a medic with the 82nd Airborne. But my journey home from war hasn't been an easy road. I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury during my deployment, I lost my best friend in Iraq and I came home to an unemployment check and stigmas about invisible wounds.
In IAVA I've found a strong community that knows exactly where I'm coming from. From my first event in Wisconsin to joining the team full-time this year, IAVA is helping me rediscover the leader I was in the Army—and the leader I want to be here at home.
Take a minute to hear my story about the impact the IAVA community has had on my life in the past year.
I'm just one Afghanistan veteran. But my success is possible because of each of you are making your mark on our mission. Across the country, you're raising critical awareness about veterans' issues in your hometowns. You're advocating for and helping IAVA win decisive battles on Capitol Hill. And you're building the foundation for a lasting community of support for this new generation of veterans and their families.
That's no small feat. So to mark this anniversary, our entire team at IAVA wants to say 'thank you' for building our movement. We're 200,000 members and supporters strong because of you. And, with your continued support, we'll impact the lives of countless more returning veterans for years to come.
Thank you for defining IAVA, for being a part of this community, and for changing my life.
Keep making your mark.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
PS – Missed it? IAVA Member Moses Maddox showed tremendous courage and leadership for our community making an appearance on The Late Show this week. Watch his interview with David Letterman, and get the new IAVA lapel pin that he rocked!
IAVA Update. Love the effectiveness of IAVA that have been a VSO model for 21st century.
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans