Military & Veterans News
Braley Pays Tribute to Those Who Have Served PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Monday, 12 November 2012 13:54

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) is paying tribute to all members of the armed services this weekend as the country celebrates Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day is a special time to remember those who have served our country, and honor the men and women who are currently serving our people overseas and here at home. Our continued gratitude for their sacrifice, commitment, strength, and service shall not diminish, and we thank them for helping keep America strong and secure,” said Braley.

Braley has been a leader in continued legislation for efforts in helping Veterans when they return home, such as his Andrew Connolly Veterans Housing Act, signed into law earlier this year.


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Local Paralyzed Veteran to receive Retro-fitted Vehicle PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Melissa Winters   
Monday, 12 November 2012 13:46

This Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11th) Pennzoil will be presenting retro-fitted Dodge vehicles to three paralyzed veterans as part of the brand’s Long Love Cars campaign. To help injured veterans regain their driving independence, Pennzoil donated $150,000 to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) to support PVA’s Mission:ABLE program to retro-fit vehicles for injured veterans.

The three lucky veterans were selected after hundreds of entries were whittled down to six finalists and then almost 10,000 votes were counted in deciding the winners.  The vehicles will be presented during a ceremony at Phoenix International Raceway as a way to recognize the service men and women that help protect our country.

Local Navy Veteran, Lonn Cunningham, is going to be receiving a personally retro-fitted vehicle!

Governor Pat Quinn, IDVA and IDMA to launch Illinois Joining Forces at Union League Club PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Monday, 12 November 2012 13:33

CHICAGO, IL (11/08/2012)(readMedia)-- More than 250 non-profit, public and private leaders will gather at the Union League Club of Chicago to launch Illinois Joining Forces (IJF), a new statewide public-private partnership that will improve support for service members, veterans and their families.

Illinois Joining Forces will increase the collaboration and communication among non-profits and public agencies at the local, state and federal level. Through IJF, participating organizations will work together to address gaps in services, to actively refer veterans and service members in need of assistance, and to offer better navigation of available resources and service to the public.

The new collaborative online platform, will help IJF members to share information collaborate on project and facilitate referrals. With the active participation of IJF members, will also provide a user-friendly way for service members, veterans, and their families to find programs resources and events across the state.

Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds to Honor Des Moines Officers with Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 12 November 2012 10:00

(DES MOINES) – Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds are pleased to honor six police officers with the 2012 Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor.  Every day men and women in uniform quietly serve, sacrificing their safety to keep Iowa communities secure.  It is only appropriate the state take time to honor the officers and firefighters who go above and beyond the call of duty.  This year, Governor Branstad will honor professionals who risked their own personal safety to rescue passengers from the burning wreckage of a car crash.

WHAT:                  Sullivan Brothers’ Award of Valor Presentation

WHEN:                  Thursday, November 8, 2012

3:00 PM

WHERE:                State Capitol Rotunda

Des Moines, Iowa

WHO:                    Award Recipients: Iowa Peace Officers

Governor Terry E. Branstad

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

Commissioner K. Brian London, Department of Public Safety

Established in 1977, the Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor is awarded to peace officers and firefighters who, while serving in an official capacity, distinguished themselves by the performance of an heroic act in excess of normal demands of service where the person was fully aware of the threat to his/her personal safety.

To learn more about the heroic acts performed by this year’s recipients, see below/visit this link:


On August 28, 2011, Sergeant Michael McTaggart, Officers Colin Boone, Aaron Cawthorne, Jeremy Sprague and Robin Swank; along with Reserve Officer John Carter, responded to a crash at the intersection of Southeast 14th and Hartford streets.

Upon their arrival, officers observed a Ford Explorer had turned on its side and was fully ablaze.  The officers immediately assessed and secured the scene and began to take action to rescue the occupants of the vehicle.

Working in close proximity to the fire and knowing the vehicle could explode at any moment, the officers broke out a back window of the vehicle to rescue one of the victims.  Meanwhile, other officers climbed on top of the vehicle to pull the second victim out a side window.  Still others used fire extinguishers in an attempted to squelch the fire, repeatedly returning to fight the fire after retrieving additional extinguishers from the patrol cars on the scene.

After moving both victims clear of the intense flames, the officers continued to render aid until fire medics arrived on the scene.  Without their brave efforts, the two victims who were rescued could have sustained significant injuries or been fatally injured.  Unfortunately, one young woman perished in this incident.

The driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision was subsequently convicted of Vehicular Homicide and sentenced to 25 years in prison.  In addition, he was convicted of four counts of Serious Injury by a Motor Vehicle and sentenced to five years for each count.

During the intense and dangerous incident, each officer’s daring efforts contributed to freeing the victims from the blazing vehicle.  Without regard for their personal safety, each officer put themselves in harm’s way and worked with each other as a team.


In Iowa's Interest: Celebrating Those Who Served PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 12 November 2012 09:04
By Senator Tom Harkin

November 11th is Veterans Day, a time to celebrate and thank those who have served in The United States Armed Forces – some 22.6 million veterans around the country, more than 240,000 of whom are Iowans.   As a veteran and member of American Legion Post 562 in Cumming, I know the profound love a veteran has for this country.  All veterans showed their patriotism by defending this country when their service was needed.  Honoring that sacrifice is something we all have a stake in.

To that end, my office is working to ensure veterans have access to education benefits, health care, and other services to ensure they are successful both on and off the battlefield.

As a member of the Veterans Jobs Caucus, I supported the Veterans’ Jobs Bill, which would have provided $1 billion over five years to help veterans find work in their communities.  Passage of this legislation is critical not only to the economic security of our veterans, but also to the communities across Iowa and the country that stand to benefit from their contributions to the economy.

As a recipient of the original GI Bill benefits, I understand how critical this assistance is for returning veterans’ success.  For that reason, I am working to protect these benefits against low-quality for-profit colleges that overpromise, overcharge, and under-deliver to our veterans, using slick marketing campaigns to recruit them in order to profit off their education benefits.  In fact, data collected by the Senate HELP Committee shows that these benefits may be aiding some schools that otherwise would struggle to meet federal rules.

Legislation I have introduced will ensure that taxpayers’ investment in federal assistance for college students is used to educate and support students, rather than being wasted on advertising, marketing, and recruitment.  The Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act will maximize federal student aid by prohibiting the use of Pell Grants, federal student loans, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, and other federal education funds for such practices, similar to a current law that bans the use of federal higher education dollars for lobbying.  In addition, I have worked on a bipartisan basis on legislation aimed at providing every veteran who receives educational assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with the counseling services needed to make informed decisions about their education.

I also continue to hear from veterans about service medals that have not been awarded.  My office has helped countless veterans and their families obtain medals.  Please contact any of my offices in Iowa or Washington, D.C. to inquire about this service.  My staff is happy to assist any constituent to receive the recognition they have rightly earned.

We only accomplish our mission by working together.  This lesson is as applicable now as it was during my years of service.  And I join my fellow Americans in honoring the brave men and woman who have served our country and in pledging to do all that I can to ensure their success both on the battlefield, but also in their civilian life.

For more information, please visit

A PDF version of the column is available by clicking here.

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