Vaccines, Veterans, and the Chance to Serve Again

Julie H. Case

Six veteran organizations on how, and why, they united to help vaccinate America.

With a million veteran members among them, six veteran organizations launched the Veterans Coalition for Vaccination this week. The mission: To unite and mobilize a nationwide network of veterans to ensure equitable access to vaccinations for all Americans, regardless of geographic or socioeconomic limitations.

Here’s a look at why Team Rubicon, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Student Veterans of America (SVA), Team Red, White & Blue, The Mission Continues, and Wounded Warrior Project got involved.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

“Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is honored to team up with Team Rubicon and our other coalition partners in this important vaccination distribution effort,” said IAVA CEO, Jeremy Butler. “In continuing our pandemic response and the fight against COVID-19, IAVA looks forward to providing volunteer opportunities for our members, raising awareness and ultimately ensuring all Americans have access to vaccines.” 

Student Veterans of America 

“Student Veterans of America’s national community of more than 1,500 chapters, as well as allies and supporters, stand ready to support this critical effort to fight COVID-19 by ensuring all Americans have access to vaccinations,” said Jared Lyon, National President and CEO of Student Veterans of America. “We’re proud to team up with several of our partners to empower veterans to make a meaningful difference in our shared mission to defeat this pandemic.” 

Team Rubicon 

“At the start of the pandemic, Team Rubicon deliberately restructured our entire organization to support the pandemic response while still responding to natural disasters, growing our capabilities to directly support communities hit hard by COVID-19,” said Jake Wood, CEO of Team Rubicon. “As an organization that has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight, supporting medical organizations, governments and other nonprofits, we have leveraged our biggest lessons to lead the charge in vaccination distribution support.” 

Team RWB 

“Team RWB is forging America’s leading health and wellness community for veterans because we recognize that physical activity is a critical component of mental and emotional health,” said Mike Erwin, Executive Director of Team RWB. “As part of the Veterans Coalition for Vaccination, Team RWB looks forward to providing volunteer service opportunities for our members and coming back together through more in-person events soon.” 

The Mission Continues 

“The Mission Continues is eager to team up with Team Rubicon and our other long-time partners to add capacity to the vaccination efforts across the country,” said Mary Beth Bruggeman, President, The Mission Continues “This is a natural and necessary continuation of service for our veterans, who have been volunteering for the past decade in the communities that are now hardest hit by COVID-19.”    

Wounded Warrior Project  

“Providing opportunities for WWP Alumni to connect with each other and continue their service through volunteerism is at the heart of our mission. Through this important effort, veterans will be able to rekindle their bonds of friendship and camaraderie and give back in important ways all across the country,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington.


Want to fuel the VCV mission? Here’s how.

Want to help get Americans vaccinated? Register to volunteer

 

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