Veterans Day Celebration Continues Tonight With IAVA Heroes Gala

Veterans Day Celebration Continues Tonight With IAVA Heroes Gala

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Veterans Day Celebration Continues Tonight With IAVA Heroes Gala

Jon Stewart and Medal of Honor Recipient Salvatore Giunta Will Receive Awards; NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams Will Emcee for Fifth Straight Year

NEW YORK (November 12, 2013) –Tonight, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will host its 7th annual Heroes Gala, a night to honor those who have made a unique and lasting contribution to IAVA’s mission to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.  IAVA will present the 2013 IAVA Veterans Leadership Award to Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta, Medal of Honor recipient, and the 2013 IAVA Civilian Service Award to Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show.” The Heroes Gala will be hosted for the fifth year in a row by Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, with Marc Roberge of the band O.A.R., a historically strong supporter of vets, performing live.

Super Bowl Champion Coach Bill Cowher will attend, as will Skip Bayless, Stephen A, Smith, and Cari Champion from ESPN’s First Take and ESPN personalities Michael Smith and Jemelle Hill

“At tonight’s Heroes Gala, we continue to unite the country and honor the service of all veterans. This is a unique time to unite our veterans – and all Americans. We have an important message to share. Don’t just thank us, join us,” Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA said. “We’ll show the world the dedication, dynamism and fellowship that defines our community. And with the support of our fellow citizens, we’ll do great things tomorrow and long into the future, and make our nation proud. Together, we’ll make every day Veterans Day.” 

Past honorees and attendees have included Sesame Workshop founder Joan Ganz Cooney; Council on Foreign Relations chairman emeritus Peter G. Peterson; founding member of Pink Floyd Roger Waters; host of “The Colbert Report” Stephen Colbert; Corporal Aaron Mankin; best-selling author Wes Moore; CEO of Entech Solar David Gelbaum; President of MTV Networks Music and Logo Group Van Toffler; actor J.R. Martinez; Paralympians Scott Winkler and Carlos Leon; philanthropist Arnold Fisher; Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth; ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff; actress Cameron Diaz; singer Norah Jones; Fox News Anchor Bill Hemmer; Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Super Bowl Champion Coach Bill Cowher; and the Today Show’s Willie Geist

More information can be found at Those who can’t attend the Gala in person can still watch a livestream beginning at 7 p.m. EST at Additionally, there is an online auction, sponsored by eBay Giving Works, with all proceeds helping to ensure IAVA can continue to provide free services and resources to veterans.

Note to media: Please contact if you would like to cover IAVA’s Heroes Gala. We can also connect you with a veteran.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( 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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