IAVA's Tom Tarantino talks Veterans Day, challenges faced by military families
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Senior Legislative Associate Tom Tarantino discusses the importance of Veterans Day and what IAVA does for new veterans. IAVA was founded in 2004 by Ashoka Fellow and current Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff and his fellow Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Its mission is to improve the lives of nearly two million American veterans and their families. These veterans face issues such as inadequate healthcare, the lack of educational benefits, and a stretched Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system. Tarantino believes that the Iraq and Afghanistan generation is the "next greatest generation of young Americans," and that "if only veterans care about veterans' issues, then everyone is going to lose." To respond to these challenges -- which affect all people, both at home and overseas -- IAVA provides for the needs of a new generation of returning soldiers in three ways: by facilitating their ability to share information and access resources, by educating the American public about veterans issues, and by advocating for non-partisan policies that will significantly better the lives of our servicemen and women.
“We need jobs, we need to go back to school, and we need to get the tools that we need to take the mantle of leadership to take this country forward.”