NEW YORK -- Texas hard rock band Drowning Pool and non-profit organization Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) are launching a national concert tour 'This Is For the Soldiers' to support expanded health care for veterans returning from Iraq & Afghanistan.
They are campaigning and asking Americans to support legislation currently before Congress that addresses the urgent need to provide better mental health care for veterans. The campaign includes a website www.thisisforthesoldiers.org which hosts a petition urging Congress to support the Lane Evans Mental Health Care Reform bill along with a powerful music video.
Drowning Pool is taking their message on the road in the form of a tour in conjunction with the IAVA. Supporting the troops is nothing new for Drowning Pool who toured with the USO and performed for troops in Iraq, Kuwait and South Korea in 2005 and 2006.
The campaign's title, 'This Is For the Soldiers,' comes from a line in the Drowning Pool song, "Soldiers," that the band wrote based on their experience. Drowning Pool named their upcoming concert tour after the campaign and will donate fifty cents from each ticket sale to IAVA and fifty cents to the USO. IAVA, founded by Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff, has been advocating since 2004 on behalf of returning service members. It is the first and largest group representing veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It has been an amazing experience working with IAVA. After returning from playing for the troops in Baghdad we wanted to find a way to support the men and women serving our country. While working with Paul and everyone at IAVA we have been able to do that and so much more, said Ryan from Drowning Pool.
The band and IAVA are encouraging supporters to send a petition to Representative Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, asking him to take action on the Lane Evans Bill, H.R. 1354, currently pending in the House. This bipartisan legislation would require mandatory counseling for combat veterans and ensure a better transition for troops leaving the military. A letter written by the band has already been sent to members of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs and was recently read before the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors.
"Whether you're for the war or against it, everyone has an obligation to support the men and women serving our country," said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Executive Director.
Drowning Pool released their third album, Full Circle on Eleven Seven Music/ADA on August 7th. It's the third album for the band, and the first release with new lead vocalist Ryan McCombs.
The first single "Soldiers" is a nod to the very same soldiers who would listen to their 2001 song "Bodies" while flying missions over Iraq. It's a heartfelt tribute that urges the public to support the troops, even if they don't agree with the war.
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