Platinum rock band Drowning Pool is a band on a mission. Immediately following the successful launch of their “This Is For the Soldiers Tour”, the Texas rockers have stepped it up with Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), actively campaigning for better mental health care for U.S. Troops on Capitol Hill. Drowning Pool and IAVA presented Representative Patrick Murphy with a petition containing 25,000 signatures in support of the Lane Evans Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act of 2007. Murphy, who is the first Iraq veteran to serve in Congress, is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan legislation, which requires mandatory mental health care screening for returning troops. He served in Baghdad in 2003-2004 as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division.
Drowning Pool and IAVA first joined forces to launch the “This Is For The Soldiers” campaign and accompanying website www.thisisforthesoldiers.org, which continues to ask supporters to sign an online petition urging Congress to pass the Lane Evans bill. The group has been instrumental in involving their young fans in the political process and they challenge their fellow recording artists to show their support for our troops.
“It’s exciting to be on Capitol Hill with a rock band to raise awareness about this urgent issue. Tens of thousands of people from across the country have stepped up to help us support the troops,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Executive Director. “More than 1.5 million Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and almost a third of them will face a serious mental health issue, ranging from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to depression. It’s critical that we get these troops the help they need now and the Lane Evans Bill is a major step in that direction. We are honored to work with Representative Murphy and Drowning Pool to get this important legislation passed.”
To view footage from the press conference click here: http://www.ivpnewmedia.com/10thst/dpvideo/pc.htm
Drowning Pool is a longtime supporter of the troops. The band’s current single “Soldiers” pays homage to our Armed Forces and their current “This Is For The Soldiers Tour” donates one dollar of every ticket sold to IAVA and the USO, while encouraging young fans to support the cause. The band has been a favorite of U.S. troops, performing USO tours in Iraq, Kuwait and South Korea.
Drowning Pool’s lead vocalist Ryan McCombs says, “It’s an honor and a privilege to work on something as important as this legislation.”
The Lane Evans Bill would help troops and veterans get mental health care in the following ways:
-Require in-person mental health screening for returning combat veterans
-Extend the window for Veterans Affairs mental health treatment
-Establish a registry to track Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to monitor their health and benefit use
-Improve the transferability of military records from Department of Defense to Veterans Affairs
IAVA, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is the nation’s first and largest organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, representing more than 60,000 members and civilian supporters in all 50 states. For more information visit www.iava.org.
L-R: Stevie Benton (Drowning Pool); Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA); Ryan McCombs (Drowning Pool); Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill; Rob Timmons, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA); Todd Bowers, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA); CJ Pierce (Drowning Pool); Mike Luce (Drowning Pool).
From L-R Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-PA; Rob Timmons, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA); Ryan McCombs (Drowning Pool); Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA); Stevie Benton (Drowning Pool); CJ Pierce (Drowning Pool); Mike Luce (Drowning Pool).