The Military Coalition Leads Call to End the Shutdown

The Military Coalition (TMC), made up of 33 military, uniform, and veteran service organizations, were joined by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the American Legion to lead the call for an end to the government shutdown. Since the onset of the government shutdown, the issues faced by service members, veterans, survivors, and military families have been a focal point for the press. TMC felt that service members and their families needed their own voice to be heard above the rhetoric.

Speakers at the press conference included leaders from the Air Force Sergeants Association, Reserve Officers Association, American Legion, DAV, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association (IAVA) and the National Military Family Association. Herb Rosenbleeth, TMC President and National Executive Director of Jewish War Veterans of the USA, opened the conference by pointing out that the members of the TMC have the “back” of our service members, veterans, survivors, and military families.

The conference speakers highlighted the negative effects of the government shutdown broadly, from depleting Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to military families who will suffer without the support of federally funded programs for nutrition and education and a lack of overall readiness. Kathleen Moakler, Government Relations Director of the National Military Family Association emphasized “service members continue to deploy and fight on behalf of our Nation. They and their families need the assurance that the programs and services they rely on will be available to ensure their readiness.”

Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and founder of IAVA, focused on the “unprecedented” unity of the organizations in attendance, as well as the unity among those who have served in the Uniformed Services. He pointed out that government lacked that same sense of unity. The effects of the shutdown have been devastating and TMC’s message was that piecemeal legislation was not substantial enough for Americans in service; the government must reopen and do so for the long term, not just a few months.

Our Association is deeply concerned about the impact of the shutdown, the looming debt ceiling, and absence of appropriation legislation on the readiness of service members and their families. We are calling on our Government to End the Shutdown!

You can watch the video of the news conference here.

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