GOVERNOR CULVER HONORS IOWA’S VETERANS
Signs veterans’ employment legislation; Discusses new veterans’ home funding in Marshalltown
MARSHALLTOWN – Today, Governor Chet Culver traveled throughout central Iowa to honor Iowa’s men and women in uniform.
His day began with a ceremony at the State Capitol, where he signed new legislation to protect the jobs of employees who are returning from active duty in the US Armed Forces or the Iowa National Guard. The Governor was joined by veterans and legislators for the bill signing.
“Iowa’s brave soldiers embody the spirit of service in all Iowans” said Governor Culver. “I am committed to doing whatever necessary to help make the transition back into civilian life easier for our returning veterans. This bill will ensure that Iowans who answered the call will have the same job when they return.”
Currently, Iowa law stipulates that returning vets must be re-employed in a similar position. This legislation will change this law to require that returning soldiers be restored to the same position, or to a position with similar seniority, status and pay.
Following this ceremony, the Governor then traveled to Marshalltown to view the planned $100 million expansion at the Iowa Veterans Home.
“Iowa’s veterans are our Iowa heroes,” said the Governor. “We as a state owe our veterans a debt of gratitude. That is why I am honored to support the Iowa Veterans home, and ensure these brave individuals have the best care and support. When this project is complete, Iowans will be proud of the fact they are home to one of the best veterans’ homes in the entire country.”
Governor Culver’s budget includes a new $20 million dollar investment in the Iowa Veterans Home, which will leverage $65 million in federal dollars for a new, state-of-the-art facility in Marshalltown. These dollars will be used build a nursing home, a 60-bed pavilion, and complete the master plan for the Veterans Home.
“I want to thank Governor Culver for putting these important funds in his budget,” said Dan Steen, Commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home. “With this money, we are demonstrating Iowa’s commitment to those who have served us by providing some of the best care in the country.”
Attached is an aerial view of the proposed master plan.
Governor Culver concluded his day with a visit to Iowa State University, where he met with cadets and midshipmen of the Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC programs. ISU’s Military Science Department is the nation’s third-ranked ROTC battalion on the basis of academic achievement, fitness, performance and leadership, and five seniors are among the top 4% of cadets in the nation.
Governor Culver’s 2008 proposals build upon the progress made during last year’s legislative session. In 2007, the Governor signed legislation that provided financial assistance to returning veterans injured in combat, made it easier for veterans to purchase their first house, and delivered the war bonus promised to all who served in Vietnam.
In addition, Governor Culver’s first Executive Order – signed in January, 2007 – established that Iowa’s flags would be lowered to half staff on the day of a fallen soldier’s funeral.