IAVA is the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan veterans organization for our nation’s newest generation of heroes.

Mission

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the voice of the 21st century veteran. It was founded in June 2004 as a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a mission to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.

IAVA addresses the urgent issues facing the 2.2 million service members that have deployed since 2001 such as physical disabilities, mental health, suicide and unemployment by providing assistance, awareness and advocacy to serve those who have served.

For additional information: http://www.iava.org

The Need

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are in their eighth and ninth years respectively. Over two million American troops have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and thousands have been deployed multiple times. IAVA addresses critical issues facing new veterans and their families, including mental health injuries, a stretched VA system, inadequate health care for female veterans, and GI Bill educational benefits. IAVA also provides valuable resources and empowers veterans to connect with one another, fostering a strong and lasting community.

History

IAVA was founded in 2004 by current Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff and his fellow Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. After returning home from their tours, these veterans came together after quickly becoming concerned with the way the war in Iraq was being portrayed in the media and the overall plight of newly returned veterans. There were many policy experts and talking heads on TV, but very few people who had actually served on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan. There was no one talking about what our wounded friends needed and the issues they faced. The creation of IAVA allowed thousands of veterans to join the national dialogue, and to explain what was really happening on the ground overseas and back home in the US.

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