Military & Veterans News
Military Homeownership Assistance Program Assists Iowa Military Service Members and Veterans Purchase Homes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Ashley Jared   
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 14:37

State Program Offers $5,000 Down Payment Grants to Service Members and Veterans

 

Des Moines – Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds joined state officials today to announce that the Military Homeownership Assistance program has assisted nearly 3,400 military service members and veterans purchase a home in Iowa. The program is jointly administered by the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and funding is appropriated by the Iowa Legislature.

The Military Homeownership Assistance Program provides eligible service members with a $5,000 grant that may be used towards down payment and closing costs to purchase a home located in Iowa.

“More than 800 veterans have already been matched with jobs in our state through the Home Base Iowa initiative, with the opportunity for us to welcome thousands more. A key component in the transition to civilian life for these veterans is making their own permanent home right here in Iowa and this program will help them to achieve that goal,” said Governor Branstad.

“Our efforts to match veterans and their spouses with quality careers in Iowa are working. With the Iowa Finance Authority’s work to assist veterans in making a down payment on a home, we believe even more veterans will make our great state their home base,” said Lt. Governor Reynolds.

When combined with the Iowa Finance Authority’s other down payment assistance programs, eligible service members could receive a total of up to $7,500 in grant funds toward the purchase of a home. In fiscal year 2014, the program assisted 423 military service members and their families to fulfill their dream of homeownership.

“Upon my return from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, my wife and I started looking for a house in Osceola, where I now serve as a reserve Sheriff’s Deputy and volunteer firefighter,” said tenured military veteran Sergeant Byron Jimmerson. “We were excited to discover that we qualified for IFA’s Military Homeownership Assistance Grant Program to help with the down payment. The grant helped ease the financial cost of owning a home, especially with the anticipated expenses of starting a family.”

“The Military Homeownership Assistance Program was created by the Iowa Legislature in an effort to foster affordable homeownership opportunities for service members,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Dave Jamison. “Down payment assistance is a valuable resource and it affords service members and veterans an avenue to conduct civilian life in a permanent, stable home in Iowa.”

 

“The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs’ mission is to assist veterans with obtaining services and benefits that they are entitled to.  We are also concerned about the successful reintegration of veterans into civilian life and the community,” said Colonel Robert King, Executive Director, Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. “The Military Homeownership Assistance Program is an excellent program that directly impacts qualified veterans’ ability to purchase a home. We are extremely pleased with the response of veterans requesting this program.”

The Military Homeownership Assistance Program has provided more than $15.4 million in funding to support approximately 3,400 military service members and their families since the program’s inception in 2005. Availability of funding for this program is subject to annual state appropriation and funds are made available on a first-come, first-served basis. More information about the program is available at IowaFinanceAuthority.gov.

The Iowa Legislature created the Iowa Finance Authority in 1975 to undertake programs to assist in the attainment of housing for low-and moderate-income Iowans.

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Sustainment Services Flight Airmen return from overseas mission PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:39

SPRINGFIELD, IL (01/15/2015)(readMedia)-- PEORIA, Ill.  Nine Sustainment Services Flight Airmen with the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, Illinois, are scheduled to return home Jan. 17 after a seven-month deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

"We are very proud to welcome home our services personnel who deployed in support of our missions overseas," said Col. William P. Robertson of Peoria, Illinois. "Our services personnel are second to none. They provided top-notch support that exceeded expectations of the command overseas."

The Airmen are members of 182nd Force Support Squadron, a component of the 182nd Mission Support Group.

"I am very proud of each one of them as they continue to raise the bar each time they do the mission," said Robertson. "It's not easy to leave your civilian job and family to answer a call to duty. I am sure they are ready for a break and to get back to their families. My thanks to those families who sacrificed along with their deployed loved ones. We can't do it without their support, the support of their civilian employers and the support of our community."

As part of the Sustainment Services Flight, they provided life-sustaining functions as well as food services, fitness and lodging services for the deployed location. The team coordinated six Armed Forces entertainment and USO events, including 80 distinguished visitor tours for the 700 Airmen assigned to the location. Additionally, they provided lodging operations, which consisted of managing over 850 bed spaces including 100 distinguished visitors and 200 aircrew beds, using 92 percent of the installations capacity.

"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 of Bartonville, Illinois, 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 182nd Airlift Wing flies the C-130 aircraft, which is primarily used to transport cargo, personnel and aeromedical evacuees. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the 182nd has deployed more than 4,000 members in support of operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Many of the wing's members have deployed numerous times. The wing has flown more than 17,500 hours in direct support of OEF and Operation Iraqi Freedom. This deployment cycle is one of many in the wing's history of supporting the Global War on Terrorism.

The Airmen will arrive at Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport at approximately 6 p.m. on January 17. This information is approved for release as of that time. For more information, contact the Public Affairs office.

 
Iowa City VA Renaming Ceremony in Galesburg PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jon Pruett   
Monday, 19 January 2015 14:59

IOWA CITY — The Iowa City VA Health Care System will officially commemorate the renaming of its Galesburg VA Clinic to the “Lane A. Evans VA Clinic” this week.

A Marine Corps Veteran and longtime lawmaker, Evans was best known for his work on Veterans issues.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., led efforts to rename the facility after Evans' passing at the age of 63 in November of last year. The bill was signed by President Barack Obama and passed into law in mid-December.

Media are invited to attend the renaming ceremony; which will be held at the VA outpatient clinic in Galesburg, IL (310 Home Blvd., Galesburg, IL 61401) on Friday, January 23, beginning at noon. Please contact Jon Pruett, Public Affairs Officer, at 319.339.7104 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to communicate interest in attendance.

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NATIONAL SECURITY TIGER TEAM PRESENTS THE ‘SECURE FREEDOM STRATEGY’ FOR VICTORY OVER THE GLOBAL JIHAD MOVEMENT PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Alex VanNess   
Friday, 16 January 2015 11:35
Says the Plan Reagan Used to Destroy Soviet Communism’s Totalitarian Ideology Can Work Now
(Washington, DC): If there were any lingering doubts that the United States and the rest of the Free World are losing a decades-long war with the Global Jihad Movement (GJM), events of the past week should have put them to rest.  Murderous attacks in Europe, warnings by MI5 of more – and worse – to come, there and perhaps here and an intercepted plot to attack the U.S. Capitol are the most obvious indicators.
Less evident, but no less portentous, is the absence of the President of the United States from the Western effort to push back – compounded by his record of accommodation to, and collaboration with, those seeking to impose “blasphemy” and other restrictions driven by their shariah ideology at the expense of Americans’ constitutional freedoms.
Such developments have moved a remarkable, ad hoc group of highly skilled national security professionals to step forward and offer an alternative approach: a strategy for actually countering and defeating totalitarians and their supremacist ideology that has been proven effective in the one environment that matters: the real world.
This “Tiger Team” has been sponsored by the Center for Security Policy, an organization whose mode of operation from its founding 26 years ago has been modeled after the best of America’s military – its elite unconventional warfare units.  As the “Special Forces in the War of Ideas,” the Center has pulled together, much as the real special operators would do, sixteen of the best in the business, individuals with unique and necessary skill sets for the mission at hand: Adapting the strategy that defeated the last totalitarian ideology that sought our destruction, Soviet communism.
At a National Press Club conference at noon on Friday, 16 January 2015, ten members of this Tiger Team will introduce and explain the component parts of the Secure Freedom Strategy:
  • Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin (U.S. Army, Ret.), former leader of U.S. Special Forces and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • Admiral James A. “Ace” Lyons (U.S. Navy, Ret.), former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and father of the Navy Red Cell counterterrorist unit
  • Fred Fleitz, career intelligence professional who served under William J. Casey at the Central Intelligence Agency
  • Kevin Freeman, Chartered Financial Analyst and best-selling author of Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Attacked the U.S. Stock Market and Why it Can Happen Again
  • Clare Lopez, former Operations Officer in the CIA’s Clandestine Service
  • Jim Hanson, former Army Special Forces technical weapons sergeant
  • Dr. J. Michael Waller, expert on information and psychological warfare, propaganda and influence operations
  • Tommy Waller, combat Marine Force Reconnaissance reservist
  • David Yerushalmi, Esq., co-founder and partner, American Freedom Law Center, and expert on shariah
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., who formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy under President Reagan and now is president of the Center for Security Policy said of this effort:
President Obama recently justified his abandonment of decades of U.S. policy towards the despotic regime in Cuba on the grounds that, if it hadn’t worked, it needed to be changed.  It is beyond dispute that the policy he and his predecessors have pursued towards the Global Jihad Movement, its ideological wellspring – shariah, and its sponsors and enablers is not working.  In this case, we actually must make a change.
President Reagan’s successful counter-ideological strategy, formalized in his National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 75, is one that has worked in the past.  In the professional judgment of some of America’s finest national security professionals, as adapted in the Secure Freedom Strategy, the NSDD 75 approach can work now as well, if employed decisively against today’s totalitarian ideology and its adherents.

 
Governor Quinn Signs Law to Expand Property Tax Exemption for Veterans with Disabilities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Friday, 02 January 2015 09:04

Also Signs Legislation to Improve Government Transparency and Prohibit Eavesdropping

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to support secure homeownership for veterans with disabilities and their families. The new law expands property tax exemptions for veterans with disabilities, which will reduce the financial burden of homeownership. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to honor and support the men and women who have served our nation.

“When our brave men and women return from service, they deserve a safe place to call home,” Governor Quinn said. “Those of us on the homefront have a duty to take care of our servicemembers who have borne the battle. This new law is another way we can support veterans with disabilities by ensuring that Illinois’ heroes aren’t burdened by overwhelming property taxes.”

Senate Bill 2905, sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Matteson) and State Representative Stephanie Kifowit (D-Aurora), expands property tax exemptions for veterans with disabilities and their spouses, increasing the disabled veterans’ homestead exemption from $70,000 to $100,000. The law also expands the disabled veterans’ homestead exemption to housing donated to veterans with disabilities by charities.

Senator Hastings, who is a military veteran, introduced the legislation after hearing from a veteran who was 100 percent disabled and unable to pay the property taxes on a home that had been equipped for his disability and given to him by a charity. The law also extends the disabled veterans’ standard homestead exemption to a veteran’s spouse in the event of the veteran’s service-related death.

The new law goes into effect immediately.

Governor Quinn also today signed House Bill 3672 which requires open meetings of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Board (CTA), the Regional Transportation Authority Board (RTA), the Suburban Bus Board (Pace) and the Commuter Rail Board (Metra) to be streamed online.

The bill, sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and State Representative Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields), also requires a recording of the meeting be posted to each board’s website. Today’s action is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make Illinois government more accountable, transparent and effective.

The new law goes into effect June 1, 2015.

In addition, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1342, sponsored by State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), which prohibits the secret recording of private conversations without the consent of all participants.

A conversation is considered private if any of the participants have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as during a private telephone conversation. The law includes exemptions for law enforcement investigating certain felonies such as kidnapping, gang or drug offenses, as approved by the State’s Attorney and county judge on a case-by-case basis.

The legislation replaces portions of the Illinois Criminal Code found unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in March. The new law does not prohibit overt recording in public space, where there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy.

The law goes into effect immediately.

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