Live Stream - The New Battleground: Veterans

Defense One and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are teaming up for a one-day event focusing on the future of veterans in the United States. From problems getting care at VA hospitals and an increasing number of suicides to a higher than average unemployment rate and a war-weary public that still doesn’t completely understand what it means to be a veteran, ​this live event will explore these challenges and examine the way forward for this newest “Greatest Generation.” As the Department of Veterans Affairs undergoes its biggest transformation in decades, join us as we talk to experts and leaders about how to create a VA for the 21st century. 

Watch the live stream video below. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at @DefenseOne and @IAVA, and participate by using the hashtag #Veterans. Find the day’s full agenda and speakers below.


7:15-7:45 AM, Registration and Networking

7:45-8:00 AM, Welcome Remarks, Kevin Baron, Executive Editor, Defense One; Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

8:00-8:50 AM, Veterans Care: Reforms for a 21st Century VA 


  • Phillip Carter, senior fellow, counsel and director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program, Center for a New American Security
  • Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs
  • Tom Tarantino, Chief Policy Officer, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
  • Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, House VA Committee member
  • Moderated by Leo Shane, Congressional Reporter, Military Times

8:50-9:40 AM, Hiring Veterans: Deployed then Unemployed


  • Mike Haynie, Executive Director, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University
  • Barbara Humpton, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Siemens Government Technologies
  • Zach Iscol, Founder and CEO, HirePurpose
  • Fred Wellman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, ScoutComms
  • Moderated by: Molly O’Toole, Politics Reporter, Defense One

9:40-9:55 AM, NS2 Serves – Boots to Suits: Training and Employing Veterans


  • Joseph Kernan, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy, Ret., Chairman, NS2 Serves, Vice President of Business Development, SAP National Security Services
  • Mark Testoni, President, NS2 Serves, President and Chief Executive, SAP National Security Services
  • Moderated by: Constance Sayers Witherspoon​, President, Government Executive Media Group

9:55-10:25 AM, Keynote Speaker:

Montel Williams, former host of the The Montel Williams Show, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy Veteran

10:25-10:40 AM, Coffee Break

10:40-11:30 AM, 22 a Day: Preventing Suicide Among Veterans


  • Dr. William Nash, psychiatrist, Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
  • Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., former Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard
  • Moderated by: David Wood, Senior Military Correspondent, The Huffington Post

11:30 AM-12:20 PM, The 1 Percent: Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide


  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii
  • Alex Horton, Writer, former digital engagement official, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Mike Monroe, Division Administrator, Team Rubicon
  • Former Rep. Patrick Murphy, host of MSNBC’s “Taking the Hill”
  • Moderated by: Stephanie Gaskell, Deputy Editor, Defense One

12:20-1:30 PM, Luncheon and Premiere Screening: “THE WAR COMES HOME: Soledad O’Brien Reports”

  • Join us for the premiere of award-winning journalist and CEO of Starfish Media Group Soledad O’Brien’s documentary, “The War Comes Home,” which follows the journeys of two young men who return home and the personal battles they must face to recover from the emotional effects of war. After the film, O’Brien and three veterans featured in the film, Jake Clark, Garrett Combs and Delon Beckett, will participate in a discussion moderated by Defense One’s Stephanie Gaskell.


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