IAVA Blasts VA For Bloated Bonuses
Tue May 8, 2007 20:51

Press Releases :: 05/04/07
IAVA Blasts VA For Bloated Bonuses
Just months after the VA's stunning 2005 announcement that it underestimated the cost of veterans' care and faced a $1 billion shortfall, VA officials involved in the foul-up received bonuses of up to $33,000 each.

IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff talks with Chris Matthews on MSNBC on the fourth anniversary of President Bush's controversial 'Mission Accomplished' speech.

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Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director and Founder
Paul is the Executive Director and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1998 and served a tour of duty in Iraq lasting from April 2003 to February 2004. During that time, Paul was a 1st Lieutenant, and served as an Infantry Platoon Leader in the 3rd Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions. Paul's Platoon conducted over 1,000 dismounted and mounted combat patrols, and was centered in the Adamiyah section of central Baghdad.

Prior to going to Iraq, Paul worked as a high school football coach and an Investment Banking Analyst on Wall Street. Paul received a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Amherst College and continues to serve his country as a 1st Lieutenant and Detachment Commander in the New York Army National Guard.

Perry Jefferies, Veteran Outreach Director
Perry Jefferies, from Waco, TX, served as a First Sergeant in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He now lives in Copperas Cove, TX, with his wife and four children.

Rob Timmins, Field and Outreach Director
Rob served as an Army Infantryman during Operation Iraqi Freedom, in Najaf, and then Mosul. He received his BA in Sociology from the College of Staten Island. He serves currently with the Army Reserve and lives in Staten Island, NY.

Todd Bowers, Director of Government Affairs
Todd served two voluntary tours in Iraq as a Civil Affairs Team Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps. He studied Middle Eastern Affairs and Arabic at George Washington University in Washington, D.C, and continues to serve his country as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserves.

Patrick Campbell, Legislative Director
Patrick is a combat medic serving with the Washington, D.C. National Guard. He returned from Iraq in October 2005 after one year of service in Baghdad with the 256 Infantry Brigade. He was awarded the Combat Medical Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Patrick is currently a full time law student at the Catholic University of America, and also staffing the Washington, DC office of IAVA.

Kara Falkenstein, Communications Director

Vanessa Williamson, Research Director
Before joining IAVA in 2004, Vanessa received her MA from NYU, and has worked for several nonprofit and advocacy organizations.

Devon Collins, Director of Operations
Prior to joining IAVA, Devon attended Rollins College in Florida. She graduated with a degree in Sociology.

Daniel Atwood, Director of Online Strategy
Daniel graduated from Trinity College with a BS in Computer Science. Prior to joining IAVA, Daniel worked as a legal assistant at a New York law firm and has held positions as a computer specialist and academic mentor.


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