Military & Veterans News
Serving those who served... PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Rep. Dave Loebsack   
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 13:17

As a parent of two children who serve in the military and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I know that our service members and military families have made great sacrifices over the last decade and have courageously served our nation. I strongly believe that there is no greater responsibility we have as a nation than to ensure our servicemembers, veterans, and military families receive the benefits and support they deserve.

That is why I recently hosted a series of town halls on my Serving Those Who Served tour. This annual tour gives me a chance to meet with veterans and discuss issues that are important to them. I was honored to be joined by local veterans service organizations, County Veterans Affairs Officers and other groups at these town halls. My staff was also available at each stop to provide any assistance veterans needed dealing with the federal government. As a military parent, I stand ready to help Iowans who need assistance working with military services, the VA, or other agencies.

At each town hall, I was deeply humbled by the stories and experiences the veterans shared. As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I work every day to ensure our servicemembers, veterans, and military families have the equipment, training, benefits, and support they need and deserve.

I personally value the ideas and thoughts veterans have about how our country can best honor our commitment to serving those who have worn our nation’s uniform. That is why I look forward to hosting my Serving Those Who Served tour and will continue to fight against proposals to reduce or eliminate essential benefits for those who have made great sacrifices on behalf of our nation. If you or someone in your family is a veteran and needs assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Dave Loebsack
Iowa's Second District

 
Special Programs to Honor Veterans at the 2014 Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Lori Chappell   
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 08:29

DES MOINES, IA (08/04/2014)(readMedia)-- On Monday, August 11, the Iowa State Fair will honor active and retired military with special Veterans' Day programming and discounts throughout the day. "Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair, August 7-17.

Veterans will be honored with discounted gate admission on Veterans' Day, August 11. With a military I.D., retired and active members of the armed forces and their spouses will receive $8 gate admission from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Veterans' Day will also feature special patriotic programming.

The Veterans' Day parade, an annual tradition featuring military bands, floats and more, will parade down the Grand Concourse at 11 a.m.

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation's Freedom Bell will be on display north of the Administration Building through August 11. The bell honors our armed forces past, present and future.

Stop by the West Grand Exhibit Area to check out Hoover Presidential Library Museum display focused on President Hoover's food relief efforts during World War I. Brush up on your history, snag a Hoover biscuit and be sure to catch the Hoover Humanitarian Relief Ship as it cruises the grounds daily at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Visit the "Remembering Our Fallen" display in the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center Atrium and pay tribute to Iowa's military who have died from wounds since September 11, 2001. The display is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The special events don't stop there. Throughout the day Fairgoers can enjoy performances such as a military tribute concert honoring Iowa's veterans as well as performances by the 34th Army Band and Iowa Military Veterans' Band.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2014 Iowa State Fair, August 7-17. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. Discounted gate admission tickets are on sale now through our convenient print at home ticket option at iowastatefair.org. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit iowastatefair.org.

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Illinois Air National Guard Security Forces Airmen return from overseas mission PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Monday, 04 August 2014 08:05

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/01/2014)(readMedia)-- PEORIA, Ill. - Eighteen Illinois Air National Guard Security Forces Airmen with the 182nd Airlift Wing are scheduled to return August 4, after a seven-month deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Illinois Air National Guardsmen were assigned to the 405th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron (ESFS) overseas, where they were responsible for law enforcement and security missions.

"The men and women of the 182nd Airlift Wing continue to step up and provide a high level of mission accomplishment for our call to duty around the world," said Col. William P. Robertson, 182nd Airlift Wing commander. "I want to thank the families and the community for their support of our Airmen. Our Security Forces unit is top notch and we can't do the mission without the support of the home front. They have performed in an outstanding manner and completed the mission. They went to do a job and excelled in all aspects of the mission."

The deployed personnel are members of 182nd Security Forces Squadron, a component of the 182nd Mission Support Group.

"This deployment demonstrated the value of the Air National Guard capability to our country and the fact that our members deploy globally serving our nation's call," said Col. Cory K. Reid, the 182nd Mission Support Group commander. "They performed flawlessly. Now we are able to welcome them safely back home and congratulate them on a job well done."

The Airmen's home station commander was also pleased with their achievement.

"I cannot be more proud of the accomplishments these men and women of the 182nd Security Forces Squadron achieved while deployed," said Lt. Col. Todd M. Leach, commander of the 182nd Security Forces Squadron. "They represented Peoria well on the global stage."

The 405th ESFS leadership overseas praised the unit for making improvements to the air base during its tour. Accomplishments included boosting the security infrastructure, building strong relationships with the host-nation military forces and advancing the air base's physical and electronic force protection capabilities.

"I am confident that we have left behind a better squadron than how it was handed to us," said Air Force Maj. William Englebert, the 405th ESFS commander. "Our goal was to leave behind a legacy and I am confident we have obtained our goal."

The Airmen will arrive at Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport at 10 p.m., August 6th.

 
Illinois Guardsmen receive reserve component transportation corps recognition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Staff Sgt. Aleah M. Castrejon, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office   
Monday, 04 August 2014 08:03

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/01/2014)(readMedia)-- SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Two members of the Illinois National Guard's 1244th Transportation Company received recognition as the Reserve Component Transportation Corps Regimental Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) and Officer of the Year for 2013. Transportation Corps Soldiers and civilians, gathered at the annual Army Transportation Ball held at the Richmond Marriott in Richmond, Virginia, to honor the accomplishments of the award recipients, July 25.

Sgt. 1st Class Jose R. Sanchez of Romeoville, Illinois, 1244th Transportation Company (TC) platoon sergeant, in North Riverside, Illinois, was selected as the Reserve Component Transportation Corps Regimental Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year for 2013.

"Sanchez compiled a record that established him as a pacesetter in our battalion," said Lt. Col. Jose B. Jaques of DeKalb, Illinois, 1144th Transportation Battalion commander in Delavan, Illinois. "His mentorship and example provided a solid foundation for the future of his Soldiers, while also providing outstanding operational results."

Sanchez was nominated for the award by his company commander and received endorsement from Jaques, as well as each level of command up to National Guard Bureau.

"His contributions will surely continue to benefit many and I firmly believe the prestige of this award will be bolstered by his addition to the roles of recipients," said Jaques.

Capt. David Tanner of Williamsport, Indiana, commander of the 1244th TC in North Riverside, Illinois, said Sanchez is an expert in his field.

"Sanchez sets the example as a highly dedicated and professional noncommissioned officer," said Tanner. "He is a key member of the 1244th TC who utilizes his experience from two previous combat deployments and vast occupational knowledge to make his Soldiers and the 1244th TC as a whole, more ready, more resilient and more adaptable."

The Transportation Corps National Guard Officer of the Year for 2013, was Lt. Linden Allen of Chicago, former executive officer with the 1244th TC and recently named commander of the 1644th TC in Rock Falls, Illinois.

"Allen's leadership, coupled with his emphasis on safe execution and the development of Soldiers, improves individual and unit capabilities," said Col. Michael Glisson of Festus, Missouri, 65th Troop Command Brigade commander. "In turn, the Illinois National Guard and United States Army become stronger."

Allen learned many lessons from his deployment to Iraq in the harsh and hazardous environment of the desert, said Jaques.

"Allen consistently demonstrated his knowledge of transportation operations, planning, execution and development," said Tanner. "He epitomizes the selfless service all commissioned officers strive toward in supporting and serving their Soldiers."

Allen and Sanchez are strong examples of what it means to be a Citizen Soldier, said Tanner.

"One of the strengths of the National Guard is our connection to 'Main Street,'" said Tanner. "These awards recognize the value the winners provide in their contributions to those communities, not just their performance within their unit. The 1244th TC is extraordinarily proud of this recognition for two of our own."

These awards, established decades ago by the U.S. Army Chief of Transportation are to recognize outstanding performers in the transportation corps. They are evaluated on nominees' contributions both in and out of uniform. Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers compete against the U.S. Army Reserve for the awards.

"Two Soldiers from the same state, honored in the same year is an outstanding accomplishment," said Tanner. "Both also being from the same unit is remarkable."

Sgt. 1st Class Jose R. Sanchez of Romeoville, Illinois, 1244th Transportation Company platoon sergeant, in North Riverside, Illinois, received recognition as the Reserve Component Transportation Corps Regimental Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for 2013. Transportation Corps Soldiers and civilians, gathered at the annual Army Transportation Ball held at the Richmond Marriott in Richmond, Virginia, to honor the accomplishments of the award recipients, July 25.

Lt. Linden Allen of Chicago, former executive officer with the 1244th Transportation Company and recently named commander of the 1644th Transportation Company in Rock Falls, Illinois, received recognition as the Reserve Component Transportation Corps Regimental Officer of the Year for 2013. Transportation Corps Soldiers and civilians, gathered at the annual Army Transportation Ball held at the Richmond Marriott in Richmond, Virginia, to honor the accomplishments of the award recipients, July 25.

 
Braley Backs Bipartisan Veterans Administration Reform Compromise PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Thursday, 31 July 2014 08:37

Congressman urges President to sign bill as quickly as possible

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today voted in favor of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014—the bipartisan reform package, meant to address problems within the Veterans Affairs Administration—as it overwhelmingly passed the House 420-5. Earlier this week, the package was agreed to by Senate VA Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House VA Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla).

“I’m proud that both parties could come together today and support this legislation aimed at seriously addressing the misconduct that has been exposed at the VA,” Braley said. “Our veterans deserve high quality, efficient, and easy-to-access care and this legislation is a big, bipartisan step in that direction. I urge the President to sign this bill as quickly as possible.”

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 has four main components:

·         Strengthen VA to meet veterans’ needs: The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 would bolster VA staffing, add new infrastructure and facilities designated for veterans care, and authorize major medical facility leases for 27 new clinics in 18 states and Puerto Rico.

·         Expand access to care: The legislation would allow veterans who have waited more than 30 days for an appointment with the VA, or that live more than 40 miles from a VA facility, to seek care from a private physician, a community health center, a Department of Defense health care facility or Indian Health Center.

·         Support veterans and their families: The legislation would improve the delivery of care for veterans who experienced sexual trauma while in the military; survivor benefits will be expanded so surviving spouses can further their education, rebuild their lives, and take care of their families;  all veterans eligible for education benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill will qualify for in-state tuition; and the legislation would extend a program (set to expire) which provides housing for veterans struggling with traumatic brain injuries.

·         Remove incompetent senior officials: The VA secretary would be granted the authority to immediately remove senior executives based on poor job performance or misconduct and the Merit Systems Protection Board would prevent political firings or other abuses of power including retaliation against whistle blowers.

 

Braley had previously endorsed the framework outlined in the Senate package formulated by Senators Sanders and McCain (R-Ariz).

Last month, Braley called on Congressional leadership to pass his Veterans Access to Care Act to provide solutions to problems at the VA.

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