Written by Lynn Goya,
Two dozen veterans are spending a week meeting with their legislators in an annual program by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), a non-partisan group that advocates for veterans. Storm the Hill bring veterans from across the country to personally meet with more than 100 Congressional offices to promoter veterans issues.
The group conducts an annual survey of more than 90,000 Member Veterans and coordinates with the Departments of Defense (DoD), Veterans Affairs (VA) and other veterans organizations and community nonprofits to develop each year’s priorities that are published in IAVA’s 2011 Policy Agenda.
One of the easiest fixes would be to follow the guidelines of H.R. 169 sponsored by Bob Filner-D, San Diego. The bill would have the VA put links to job support services and job search sites for veterans on its home page to make it easy for veterans to find employment search support.
IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff says, “As thousands of troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming years, the need for bold action is more urgent than ever. Unemployment and suicide rates for new veterans continue to skyrocket. Reversing these trend lines and making real change on the ground is IAVA’s top focus. IAVA’s 2011 Policy Agenda is an actionable blueprint to address the most critical issues facing our community and should serve as a tool for every member of Congress, White House official and business across the country. Working collaboratively, we can implement meaningful change for every single Iraq and Afghanistan veteran.” The organization will also lobby for a comprehensive jobs package that will strengthen USERRA protection, modernize transitional service and create tax incentives for private sector employers to hire veterans.
IAVA supports H.R.865 – Veteran Employment Transition Act of 2011, sponsored by Representative Timothy Walz, D-MN.
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*Photo courtesy of the U.
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