Senators Paul, Gillibrand, Grassley, Shaheen stand with IAVA for Military Justice Improvement Act Press Event

Senators Paul, Gillibrand, Grassley, Shaheen stand with IAVA for Military Justice Improvement Act Press Event

CONTACT: Carlisle Williams (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Senators Paul, Gillibrand, Grassley, Shaheen stand with IAVA for Military Justice Improvement Act Press Event

Unusual bi-partisan showing underscores urgency of vote this week

WASHINGTON, DC (November 19, 2013) On Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM EST, in Room 562 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will join U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rand Paul (R-KY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), top military officials, and other leading veterans service organizations for a media event urging the Senate to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act this week.  

“Politics does make for strange bedfellows. Today’s event shows that support for the Military Justice Improvement Act spans all political perspectives. The newest generation of veterans is proud to stand with such a diverse group of Senators today in support of this critical bill,” said Tom Tarantino, Chief Policy Officer of IAVA. “Today’s event shows that leaders of all political stripes are united behind this urgent issue that will protect suvivors and strengthen our national security. We call on all members of the Senate to support this common-sense solution that will create a military justice system worthy of the trust of our brave service men and women. And we call on all Americans to stand with us, call their Senators, and urge them to vote ‘yes’.”

By putting prosecution decisions in the hands of experienced military lawyers, the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) ensures that decisions to move to trial will be based on the evidence of the case alone, giving both survivors and the accused confidence in the impartiality of the system. The bill continues to equip commanders with tools to prevent and address sexual assault within their units.

Today, IAVA also urged President Obama to show key leadership on ending sexual assault in the military by publicly supporting the Military Justice Improvement Act. To date, he has not taken a stand on the legislation.

Those attending the press event include  U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rand Paul (R-KY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) Air Force Major General (Ret.) and former Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Martha Rainville, Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton who served as the top psychiatrist in the U.S. Army, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), and Kate Weber, a survivor, advocate, and member of Protect Our Defenders Advisory Committee.

The full list of Senators who have not yet shown public support for the Military Justice Improvement Act can be found here.

All week long, IAVA will be mobilizing IAVA Leadership Fellows and IAVA members on Capitol Hill, online and in local communities nationwide to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act using the hashtag #PassMJIA. 

Note to media: Please email press@iava.org.if you would like to schedule an interview with IAVA.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator. 

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