November 11 is Veterans Day, a time to remember all who have served our country in uniform and defended our freedoms, in times of war and peace.
The commitment of Iowans to serve our country has been strong since the Civil War. That’s why the Legislature has worked in a bipartisan manner to expand benefits for our veterans and servicemembers.
We’ve acted on many levels to make Iowa a great place for veterans and their families, encourage returning service members to make Iowa their home, and ensure they receive the education, job opportunities and quality of life they deserve.
Here are some bills passed during the 2021 session to help and honor our veterans and servicemembers:
- Waived county recorder fees for examining or copying public records needed to complete and file claims for veterans benefits.
- Streamlined the admission application to the Iowa Veterans Home.
- Protected personal information provided to the county for a disabled veteran tax credit or a military property tax exemption.
- Designated U.S. Highway 20 that runs between Sioux City and Dubuque as “Iowa Medal of Honor Highway.” The American Legion of Iowa worked on this project with 11 other states as a tribute to our military. The complete route stretches between Oregon and Massachusetts.
- Enhanced popular education benefits that help the Iowa National Guard recruit and retain members.
- Established a National Guard student loan repayment program administered by the College Student Aid Commission.
- Exempted students enrolled in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) from the requirement to participate in school PE.
- Expanded the time for a veteran to appeal a hiring or demotion decision based on the veterans preference law.
The State will observe Veterans Day at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel at 8 AM on Thursday, November 11. The ceremony will run 45-60 minutes. All Iowans are invited to attend in person or watch via Facebook Live at facebook.com/events/170138704579247. The event also will be recorded for later viewing.
After the ceremony, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 403 will host a breakfast at the nearby Veterans Reception Center, 910 Main Street in Van Meter.
In addition, the Marine Corps League will host their traditional Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam War Memorial on the State Capitol grounds at 10 AM that day.
For more on events and opportunities for Iowa veterans, visit the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Facebook page.
State resources that honor and celebrate our veterans:
First known as Armistice Day, November 11 has been celebrated since World War I. In 1938, Congress declared November 11 a national holiday “dedicated to the cause of world peace.” In 1954, it was renamed Veterans Day.
Over the years, Veterans Day observances have been held in towns small and large, with tributes to American heroes who demonstrated patriotism, love of country and willingness to sacrifice for the common good. Honoring their service is one small way to repay the debt.
Military Families Month
With hundreds of thousands of service members deployed overseas, our active duty, Guard and Reserve military families make daily sacrifices. Each November, the President signs a proclamation recognizing them. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Military Families Month, which was established in 1996.