Veterans Unite for Historic Day

Veterans Unite for Historic Day

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

Veterans Unite for Historic Day

IAVA Vets Lead 150 Events Across the U.S. from Portland to Chicago to New York;
Over 1,100 Marching in New York City’s Veterans Day Parade

NEW YORK (November 11, 2013) – Today, veterans and supporters of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will help unite America on Veterans Day with more than 150 events nationwide. Highlights include more than 1,100 veterans and their families marching in the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, an IAVA Leadership Fellow attending The White House Breakfast in Washington with President Obama, and a social media campaign, #UniteWithVets, that will bring together tens of thousands worldwide.

“On Veterans Day, we unite the country and honor the service of all veterans. It’s not just a day off from school or a time for mattress sales. This is a unique time to unite our veterans – and all Americans. We have an important message to share. Today, 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.”

Information about all of IAVA’s Veterans Day events can be found at http://iava.org/vetsday2013. Veterans and supporters who can’t participate in person, can show their support by joining the march online and using the hashtag #UniteWithVets on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

In New York, more than 1,100 IAVA members will gather at 23rd Street in front of the historic Flatiron Building for breakfast beginning at 9:15 a.m. It’s an inspiring day of uniting and support as veterans gather from all across America. They will step off around noon and move north up Fifth Avenue. The IAVA banner will be carried by two IAVA leaders, while the Military Families Banner will be carried by Gold Star Family Howard and Jean Somers who traveled from Arizona. The marchers will finish at 59th Street and move to a reception at John Jay College from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The reception will include IAVA Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) case managers – who connect vets with housing, education, mental health, legal and other services. The reception will also include food, drinks, music, and entertainment for military children including face-painters, balloon animals and an appearance by Sesame Workshop.

Veterans Day features IAVA Leadership Fellows who are helping to bring together veterans and supporters locally throughout the country.

Reese May, an IAVA Leadership Fellow, will be marching with IAVA in New York City. During his six years in the Marine Corps Reserves, Reese deployed to Iraq for two tours with Company C, 4th Anti-Terrorism Battalion. He now lives in New York, where he is directing Hurricane Sandy Response and Recovery for the St. Bernard Project.

Tegan Griffith, also an IAVA Leadership Fellow, led post-9/11 veterans and supporters marching during the 50th Annual Milwaukee Veterans Day Parade. Griffith was in the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009 and deployed to Iraq in 2008. Griffith was part of IAVA’s Storm the Hill in March, fighting to end the VA disability claims backlog. Griffith recently joined the outreach team at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

IAVA Veterans Day partners in New York and nationwide include eBay, Southwest Airlines, Quicken Loans, Miller Corps, GovX, Military.com, Sheetz, Quick Chek, and Creative Artist Agency.

Tuesday night in New York, 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. Veterans of all generations from across America will gather as IAVA presents the 2013 IAVA Veterans Leadership Award to Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta, Medal of Honor recipient. The 2013 IAVA Civilian Service Award will be presented 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. More information can be found at IAVA.org/HeroesGala. Those who can’t attend the Gala in person can still watch a livestream beginning at 7 p.m. EST at http://new.livestream.com/newvets/heroesgala.

Note to media: Please contact press@IAVA.org if you would like to cover a Veterans Day event or IAVA’s Hereos Gala. We can also connect you with a veteran.

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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