Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Launches Effort to Expand Support for Veterans' Programs

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has announced the creation of a Veteran Support Fund with the aim of challenging Americans — especially non-military families — to contribute $30 million in support of critical nonprofit programs and resources that benefit veterans and their families.

The impetus for the fund came from PDG Consulting president Philip Green, who told the Associated Press that non-military families should think of giving to the fund not as a charitable act but as a moral obligation, and his wife, Elizabeth Cobbs, head of geriatrics at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Green and Cobbs, together with Glenn Garland, head of CLEAResult energy consultancy, and his wife, Laurie, and Jim Stimmel, CLEAResult's executive vice president, and his wife, Patty, have contributed a total of $1.1 million to the fund.

"Millions of Americans and their families have sacrificed so much in the conflicts and they have such needs," Stimmel told the AP. "By contrast, so many affluent Americans have not made a commensurate sacrifice, and they should."

In addition to IAVA, which will operate the fund and conduct the fundraising campaign, contributions will be directed to the National Military Family Association, Operation Homefront, Operation Mend, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

"After ten years of war, our nation's military families are strained, nonprofit services are maxed out, and our veterans' community is severely underresourced," said IAVA founder and executive director Paul Rieckhoff. "We are at a watershed moment in the history of these wars and the Veteran Support Fund is the game-changer we need to transform support and resources at home."

Pauline Jelinek. "Didn't Send Your Kid to War? Maybe You Can Send $$." Associated Press 07/05/2012. "Ahead of July 4th, IAVA Launches Ambitious Veteran Support Fund (VSF) to Inject Critical Funding into New Veterans' Community." Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Press Release 06/27/2012.