In anticipation of the vice presidential debate on Tuesday the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued a press release with a plea directed to debate moderator Elaine Quijano to ask specific questions about veteran’s issues.
As both Sen. Tim Kaine and Gov. Mike Pence are blue star dads, they each have sons serving in the Marines, the group felt they were in a unique position to discuss these important matters.
The IAVA posted the press release to its website prior to the debate.
“In the weeks following our historic IAVA Commander-in-Chief Forum, we have seen the national conversation about our veterans continue to move in a very positive direction. And tonight is the next major milestone in growing that important conversation. IAVA and its members call on both Gov. Pence and Sen. Kaine to confront the most pressing issues facing our community ranging from suicide to VA reform” said Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA. “This week, we will recognize the fifteenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and reflect on the sacrifice of those who protect our freedoms around the world. As fathers of Marines currently serving, both Mr. Pence and Mr. Kaine are in a unique position to focus the nation’s attention on that community and the 22 million veterans of all generations across America. These two candidates understand our issues on a very personal level, in a way far too few politicians do. And both leaders should make a concerted effort to present a clear strategy on how they’ll support every man and woman when they come home from war.
Rieckhoff concluded, “With only one chance to see the Vice Presidential candidates face off in a debate, we appeal to CBS and Elaine Quijano to ask the questions our community wants answers to, questions like:
-How would you stop the outrageous rate of veteran suicide in America?
-Would you support privatizing the VA?
-Would you look to keep or replace VA Secretary Bob McDonald?
-How specifically would you provide better care to our women veterans?
-Why did you choose to not serve in the military?
-What have you learned as the father of a Marine currently serving?
IAVA also encourages veteran members and supporters nationally to use the hashtag #IAVAVotes throughout the debate to focus social media attention on vets issues. IAVA members will be on hand in Virginia tonight and for all of the debates as a nonpartisan organization, challenging all candidates to stand with our vets and to ensure our voices are heard.
The IAVA was disappointed that its request was not met.
— Paul (PJ) Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) October 5, 2016
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