President Signs Two Major Provisions for New Veterans into Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Chrissy Stevens (212) 982-9699 or Chrissy@iava.org

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

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President Signs Two Major Provisions for New Veterans into Law

Back-pay for Stop-lossed Troops; New Education Benefits for Children of Troops Killed

NEW YORK-Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest non-partisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, applauded President Obama for signing the 2009 war supplemental bill into law, which includes two critical provisions for new veterans and their families.  The first guarantees retroactive payments for all troops stop-lossed since 9/11 and the second establishes transferability of the new GI Bill to children of servicemembers killed on active-duty since 9/11.

“Washington is finally paying more than lip service to our troops. Today, the Commander-in-Chief refocused the nation’s attention on the tremendous sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and delivered significant change. With this signature, our government is finally paying its debt to thousands of stop-lossed troops and showing gratitude to the families of our fallen heroes. Both provisions will mean real money in the pockets of those who deserve it most,” said IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff.  “As the July 4th holiday approaches, this is a strong display of patriotism by the country’s lawmakers. IAVA thanks President Obama and Congress for continuing to make troops, veterans and their families a priority.”

Under the retroactive stop-loss payment provision, servicemembers held beyond their enlistment contracts before October 2008 could receive on average $5,000 in back-pay.  The “Fry Scholarship,” named after fallen Marine Gunnery Sgt. John David Fry, from Lorena, Texas, would authorize the Department of Defense to transfer a maximum of 36-months of education benefits to surviving children of servicemembers who have died while on active-duty since 9/11.

To arrange an interview with Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff or a member veteran, contact Chrissy Stevens, 212-982-9699, Chrissy@iava.org.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the country's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 125,000 veteran members and civilian supporters nationwide. Its mission is to improve the lives of this country's newest generation of veterans and their families.