Tragedy struck New York City May 18 when a Bronx man barreled his Honda sedan into a crowded sidewalk in New York’s Times Square, killing Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old woman visiting New York from Michigan, and wounding 20 other pedestrians. The man, 26-year-old Richard Rojas, was apprehended at the scene and has been charged with murder and 20 counts of attempted murder.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the grenade-lobbing, upstart among nationally influential veterans advocacy groups, is getting a new executive director, representatives of the nonprofit told Task & Purpose late Monday.
Wednesday is Veterans Day, and while the speeches will be many and while I will be marching proudly beside thousands of brothers and sisters in arms down Fifth Avenue in New York, I’m pretty tired of the annual “Thank you for your service” message. This expression of gratitude, while well intentioned, is empty without any substance behind it.
Photo courtesy of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
On Nov. 4, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reversed his opposition to City Council Bill 314, which would permanently establish a Department of Veteran Services in New York. The bill’s passage, spearheaded by Councilman Eric Ulrich and the veteran service organization Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, will allot greater resources to New York City’s 230,000 veterans.
U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook
With over 300,000 members, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the largest organization for former military members who have served since the September 11 attacks. Because of a dearth of accurate data regarding veterans’ concerns, IAVA launched a member survey back in 2012 asking about issues ranging from mental health care to the GI Bill.