IAVA says membership doesn't want a parade

Eric Dehm
February 12, 2018 - 11:35 am

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cutler Brice)


There's been a lot of talk about parades recently, surely, more than at any time in recent history. The conversation has focused around the President's direction to the Pentagon to look into what needs to be done to hold a large-scale parade featuring, and to honor, our military.

Along with this discussion have been the reactions of various groups to the parade possibility, and none has been more vocal than the veteran community. To be sure, there are differeing opinions in the veteran community on nearly every issue, and this one is no exception. There are those who have said the money spent on recruiting promotions like flovers and on-field military displays at hundreds of sporting events may be better spent funding a single event where the military is the actual focus, and not just a sidenote. There are others who think the parade would be a logistical and financial nightmare that would waste the time of everyone involved. 

But which group is larger? Anecdotally, it would seem the latter regardless of political affiliation, with the "Nay" crowd, publically at least, significantly outnumbering those who would say "Yea." Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) decided to look into the matter via a survey sent out to their membership, and the results would seem to support the annecdotal evidence.

"We sent out an e-mail blast to our members and got a huge response with a 100% completion rate," IAVA Chief Policy Officer Melissa Bryant said during a recent appearance on ConnectingVets' Morning Briefing daily radio show. "It's something that really shows the passion that people feel about this topic and 70% of our memebers responded to us that they didn't want to see a military parade. I think the sentiment is very clear among the post-9/11 generation on this." 

While there are varying reasons that 70% give for their disapproval, the one that seemed the most common was the overall effect it would have on the very military the parade aims to honor. 

"It absolutely would be a heavy lift for the military," Bryant said. "You're bringing in tanks and other heavy vehicles from all corners of the United States. Bringing in troops to march and let me tell you, from what we're hearing many of them don't want to work on what would normally be a day off." 

The full interview with Bryant, who also discusses the defense budget and IAVA's "She Who Borne The Battle" campaign is below.

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