Following the successful launch of the "This Is For the Soldiers" campaign, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and rock band Drowning Pool continue their efforts to encourage young people to support expanded health care for Iraq & Afghanistan veterans. The duo will host a press conference on Tuesday, August 7th at 1:00pm at the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA. Featured will be IAVA Director of Government Affairs and Iraq veteran Todd Bowers and members of Drowning Pool. A number of local IAVA member veterans will also be present.
The conference will address some of the issues faced by returning veterans, and upcoming initiatives in the "This Is For the Soldiers" campaign to support veterans. Details will be released on the band's scheduled meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, in addition to a historic concert event for active-duty troops and veterans this fall in Washington, D.C. The band will also announce the details of their second trip to the combat zone in Iraq to perform for troops on the ground.
"This Is For the Soldiers" has increased awareness of the current crisis veterans face upon returning home from war. In less than one month, over 12,000 people have visited the campaign's website (www.ThisIsForTheSoldiers.org) and signed the petition to urge Congress to support the Lane Evans Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act, which would require mandatory mental health screening for combat veterans.
"After returning home from our first tour with the USO in Iraq, we were intent on giving back to those who serve our country," said Drowning Pool's Ryan McCombs. "This campaign has seen great success and we are excited to see it continue."
Recently, a letter by the band highlighting their support for troops and veterans was read to the members of the Dole-Shalala Commission. The commission released their final report earlier this week, illustrating the huge problems with veteran's healthcare.
"The attention drawn to the issues facing our troops and veterans by this campaign has been amazing," said Todd Bowers, IAVA Director of Government Affairs, who was wounded in Fallujah while serving as a Civil Affairs Team Sergeant with the Marine Corps. "Now more than ever veterans need our continued support. 'This Is For the Soldiers' gives Americans a chance to really support our veterans. Go to the website and sign the petition."