Our veterans and servicemembers have made tremendous sacrifices—a powerful reminder that freedom comes at a cost. For that, they deserve our respect and appreciation.
Here in Iowa, our support for veterans, soldiers and their families has made our state a national leader.
The Iowa Veterans Council called a recent legislative session the best for Iowa veterans and servicemembers since the 1950s. And this year, Iowa became the first state to approve 10 measures that the U.S. Department of Defense says would do most to improve the quality-of-life for our military (www.usa4militaryfamilies.dod.mil/).
Other recent accomplishments for veterans include:
•Expanding the veterans Homeownership Assistance Program to help those who’ve served buy a house.
•Helping veterans go to college by providing more than $3 million in student aid this year and more than $13 million over the last four years.
•Expanding the Iowa Injured Veterans Grant Program, which helps servicemembers injured in the line of duty.
•Helping disabled veterans who own and operate small businesses get state contracts.
•Expanding outreach to disabled veterans about federally funded job-training opportunities and new job-training programs.
•Strengthening services to veterans by establishing a spot for advocates familiar with veterans’ issues on two state mental health policy panels.
•Improving medical services by requiring Iowa insurance to cover substance abuse and mental health treatment for Iowa veterans.
On November 11, please take a moment to thank the veterans you know for their service.
This is a legislative update from Senator Tom Rielly, representing Iowa, Poweshiek, and Keokuk counties, and portions of Mahaska and Tama counties.
Senator Tom Rielly is chair of the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, Commerce, Economic Growth, Environment & Energy Independence, and Local Government committees.
State Senator Tom Rielly