It is with regret that we announce that the Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans has come to an end. We are so grateful for the generosity of our donor, the Iraq and Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund and the California Community Foundation for recognizing the needs of military, veterans, families and survivors. The CIAV served as a clearinghouse for over 50 agencies working in areas as diverse as the impact of deployment on small children, direct emergency financial aid, state-of-the-art PTSD and TBI treatment, and access to education, employment, housing and earned benefits. Groups also continue to deliver indispensible peer support for trauma survivors and families whose loved ones will never return.

We wish to acknowledge the members of the CIAV and all the individuals and organizations who have come together during this critical time to ensure that the needs of those directly impacted by the wars receive the support they have earned. We understand that no one entity or agency cannot and should not do all that is needed to support our military and veteran community. It requires the commitment of government at all levels, national and community-based non-profit service agencies, the private sector and our individual communities to serve those who have served.

By working together with our CIAV partners and others, we have better used our areas of expertise to recognize and respond to the men and women returning from deployment. But there is much work to be done. Even though the Coalition is coming to a close, the services for veterans and dedication to supporting veterans and their families will continue. We have forged strong relationships and learned so much from working together.

For more information on agencies whose tremendous work touches the lives of those impacted by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for reports developed by our partners and staff, click here.

Sincerely,
Amy Fairweather, JD
Director


MAY JOBS REPORT SHOWS MARKET WORSENING FOR VETS

May employment numbers from the Labor Department show little improvement in the job market, especially for veterans.

Overall, the report shows the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, with little change in the last month because the economy created only 54,000 net jobs in May.

The May report, released on Friday, shows a worsening job market for veterans.

For veterans of all generations, the unemployment rate for May READ MORE »

SENATORS: WHY IS HELP FOR CAREGIVERS DELAYED?

A bipartisan group of senators that last year helped to pass landmark legislation providing more support for caregivers of severely wounded veterans is pushing the administration to stop stalling implementation of the new law.

The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 was signed into law May 5 and was supposed to take effect Jan. 20. So far, nothing has happened — not even the development of an implementation plan that was supposed to be complete by the end of November. READ MORE »

WIDOW SUES GOVERNMENT OVER MARINE’S DEATH

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The widow of a Marine is suing the U.S. government, claiming two Veterans Affairs facilities refused to provide her husband with psychiatric help hours before he took his life.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the suit seeks $22.5 million in damages for 22-year-old widow Tiffany Anestis and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter, Isabelle, in the death of Marine Corps reservist Cameron Anestis.

Anestis was 21 when fatally shot himself at his Scott County home on Aug. 17, 2009. READ MORE »

REPORT: WOMEN SHOULD BE ALLOWED IN COMBAT UNITS

WASHINGTON — Women should finally be allowed to serve fully in combat, a military advisory panel said Friday in a report seeking to dismantle the last major area of discrimination in the armed forces.

The call by a commission of current and retired military officers to let women be front-line fighters could set in motion another sea change in military culture as the armed forces, generations after racial barriers fell, grapples with the phasing out of the ban on gays serving openly.

The newest move is being recommended by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, established by Congress two years ago. The panel was to send its proposals to Congress and President Obama. READ MORE »

ARMY: 22 SUICIDES IN 2010 AT FORT HOOD

The Army’s largest post saw a record number of soldiers kill themselves in 2010 despite a mental health effort aimed at reversing the trend.

The Army says 22 soldiers have either killed themselves or are suspected of doing so last year at Fort Hood, Texas, twice the number from 2009.

That is a rate of 45 deaths per 100,000, compared to 20-per-100,000 rate among civilians in the same age group and a 22-per-100,000 rate Army-wide. READ MORE »

VA PUBLISHES FINAL REGULATION TO AID VETERANS EXPOSED TO AGENT ORANGE

VA HEALTH CARE AND BENEFITS PROVIDED FOR MANY VIETNAM VETERANS

WASHINGTON – Veterans exposed to herbicides while serving in Vietnam and other areas will have an easier path to access quality health care and qualify for disability compensation under a final regulation that will be published on August 31, 2010 in the Federal Register by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The new rule expands the list of health problems VA will presume to be related to Agent Orange and other herbicide exposures to add two new READ MORE »

IAVA Launches Comprehensive GI Bill Resource on the Web: www.newgibill.org

The passage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill was a hard fought and long awaited victory for servicemembers and veterans. Giving nearly 500,000 veterans this year the opportunity for a first class future, the New GI Bill will shape a generation and invest in the future of this nation.

However, our work is not done. The application process is complicated and many of its provisions are nuanced. Nearly half a million veterans are taking advantage of the New GI Bill this year alone and many veterans in will have questions about their benefits. READ MORE »

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