Independence Day 2012 Unites New Veterans and Families Nationwide

Monday, July 2, 2012
Independence Day 2012 Unites New Veterans and Families Nationwide

Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Stadium Honors IAVA At 86th Annual Americafest, While Thousands Celebrate at Fort Bragg, Norfolk, Austin, Philadelphia, and Portsmouth;
IAVA Member Veterans Available for Media
NEW YORK - Today, to commemorate Independence Day 2012, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, announced it will bring together Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and civilian supporters at July 4th parades and ceremonies nationwide to honor U.S. troops, veterans and their families. On the ground, the Rose Bowl’s 86th Annual Americafest will honor IAVA’s more than 200,000 Members and Supporters nationwide. Members of the media are also highly encouraged to attend and cover local IAVA events in Philadelphia, PA; Fort Bragg, NC; Norfolk, VA; Portsmouth, NH; Austin, TX and Hamilton, NJ.

“This July 4th, as Americans enjoy backyard barbecues, fireworks and celebrations, we must not forget our troops serving overseas or our veterans transitioning here at home,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “Over 16,000 IAVA Members call California home and the Rose Bowl’s Americafest celebration is an amazing way to honor these veterans and their families this Independence Day. We applaud the citizens of Pasadena and cities nationwide for stepping up to support our community and connect new veterans with local resources for the transition home. IAVA encourages all Americans to join us in recognizing the true power of this July 4th holiday and uniting as a country around these brave men and women who have sacrificed for so long.”

Thousands of IAVA Member Veterans will participate in Independence Day celebrations and parades in Pasadena, CA; Norfolk, VA; Fort Bragg, NC; and Philadelphia, PA. To learn more about our events on the ground and how to get involved, visit IAVA’s Independence Day schedulehere.

  • Pasadena, CA: This July 4th, the Rose Bowl’s 86th Annual Americafest will honor IAVA’s more than 16,000 Members and their families through California. Through Americafest, the community of Pasadena and southern California will raise critical funds to support IAVA's core programs in health, employment, education and community. IAVA Member, Marine Corporal and San Diego-native Moses Maddox, who recently appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” to discuss the challenges facing the new veterans community, will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker for Americafest 2012. As an IAVA Member, Maddox is committed to helping fellow veterans reintegrate and give back through service. He recently graduated from Palomar College on the Post-9/11 GI Bill and serves as a Fellowship Associate for The Mission Continues. Click here for more details.
  • Norfolk, VA: IAVA Members and their families are invited to attend the 30th Annual AT&T Fourth of July Great American Picnic & Fireworks in Norfolk, VA. Local veterans are encouraged to bring their families and friends to meet up with IAVA at Town Point Park on the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront from 5:00-10:00pm this July 4th. There will be a fireworks display and barbecue picnic along with special performance by the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Band. Click here for more details.
  • Ft. Bragg, NC: IAVA veterans and their families are encouraged to attend Fort Bragg’s annual July 4th Celebration from 3:00-10:00pm at the Main Post Parade Field. In addition to a fireworks display, the 82nd Division All American Band will perform the 1812 Overture with live cannon fire. Gloriana and other musical acts will also take the stage for special performances. Click here for more details.
  • Philadelphia, PA: The city of brotherly love will host a July 4th Parade and salute to the military at 10:00am for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, their families and community supporters. Assembly will begin at 5th Street between Walnut and Chestnut Streets for a 1.2 mile parade and march. Click here for more details.  

From Texas to New Hampshire, local communities are also stepping up to host Welcome Home Veterans Parades nationwide in honor of IAVA Member Veterans who have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. The following cities will host Welcome Home parades during Independence Week:

  • July 4th - Hamilton, NJ: New Jersey veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan will be honored with a parade beginning at 9:30am on Independence Day at Grice Middle School on Whitehorse Hamilton Square Road. Click here for more details.
  • July 7th – Austin, TX:  Austin will host its first Welcome Home Veterans Parade beginning at 9:00am on the Congress Avenue bridge. Assembly starts at 7:00am.Click here for more details.
  • July 8th - Portsmouth, NH: Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families are invited to march in New Hampshire’s first Welcome Home parade beginning at 1:00pm at South Pond Mill Parking Lot in Portsmouth. Click here for more details.

For the full schedule of Welcome Home parades honoring Iraq and Afghanistan veterans nationwide, click here.

If you are a member of the media who wishes to arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff, Rose Bowl Keynote and IAVA Member Moses Maddox, or another IAVA Member Veteran leading parades and ceremonies nationwide, please contact Michelle McCarthy at (212) 982-9699 or
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the country's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 200,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Its mission is to improve the lives of this country's newest generation of veterans and their families.