Military & Veterans News
Schilling Veterans Bill Signed Into Law PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jan Schweppe   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 13:35

Schilling: "monumental step forward for veterans"


EAST MOLINE, Ill.—Bobby Schilling's veterans bill has been signed into law by President Obama.

Schilling's bill, which allows veterans the ability to use their own doctors in their own hometowns when VA waitlists prevent veterans from getting immediate access to care, did not become law overnight. Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) initially introduced the Enhanced Veterans Health Care Experience Act in 2011 and worked throughout his term to pass the bill through committee. Unfortunately, he faced gridlock and significant partisan opposition to reforming the Veterans Administration.

However, once the media firestorm surrounding the VA scandal took place, Congress finally got to work for our veterans. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Florida) picked up Schilling's bill, made a few tweaks, and introduced the Veterans Access to Care Act. Miller continued Schilling's critical work, pushed the bill through committee, and got it passed it through the House of Representatives unanimously.

For more information on Bobby Schilling's bill and the initial work he did to move it forward in Congress, click here.

The Senate passed a similar version of the bill 93-3 and proceeded to conference with the House to draft a compromise bill. The new compromise veterans legislation passed both chambers and was signed into law by President Obama last Thursday.

Bobby Schilling released the following statement:

"While there is still much work to do, this bill—now law—is a monumental step forward for veterans in this country who have been needlessly burdened with waitlists and backlogs from the VA for far too long. Now veterans have the right to use their own doctors in their own hometowns, rather than wait extended periods of time for the VA when they need care immediately.

"There are still additional reforms we need to pass to improve our veterans access to health care, but this is a monumental first step and I'm pleased to see this bill signed into law. Working on this veterans issue was a passion of mine while serving in Congress, and it's great to see our work pay off to help our heroes."

Bobby Schilling was a leader on this important issue and recognized the problems in the Veterans Administration three years ago. After the problems his own father had with the Veterans Administration, Schilling analyzed the problem and designed a creative way to help solve it without expanding government bureaucracy. He was ahead of his time in introducing his bill and was very pleased to see it signed into law. Still, there is more work to be done to serve veterans, and Bobby Schilling is seeking to once again represent the people of the 17th Congressional District to put his problem-solving skills back to work for the middle class, the working poor, and especially our veterans in need of quality, accessible health care.

Bobby Schilling was born and raised in Rock Island, Illinois. He has been married to his wife, Christie for 28 years and together they have 10 children. Schilling represented the Illinois 17th District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011-2012, serving on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Agriculture Committee, and the House Small Business Committee. Schilling is seeking another term and is running against incumbent liberal Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.
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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.

 
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