Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Iowa Front: Military & Veterans’ Weekly Roundup

Military Front

Dien Judge reported on Sunday’s Iowa National Guard send-off in Ottumwa: “Amid Fanfare and Emotion in Ottumwa, Guard Company Heads Back to Iraq.”

Iowa lost another son, when Cpl. Llythaniele Fender, 21, was killed in Iraq by an improvised explosive device. Fender was Iowa’s 57th fallen soldier with Iowa ties to have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read the “Des Moines Register” for more coverage.

Iowa National Guardsmen return to Iowa from tour in Afghanistan and are greeted by families and warning signs outside of Newton: “Desperate Women Ahead.”

Another Native Iowa Soldier Killed by an IED” on Friday.

Veterans’ Front

Iowa Veterans Blog” unofficially launched this week. The mission of the new blog is to keep veterans connected to news stories and veterans’ affairs in Iowa, monitor current legislation that affects veterans and their families, provide advocacy tools for veterans and their families, and serve as a home base for veterans to share their stories and experiences with other veterans. The site will officially launch sometime next week, beginning with an outreach campaign to other veterans and respective outlets in Iowa.

Political Front

Sen. Grassley sponsored tax-relief bill for troops.

The Human Rights Campaign kicked off its national “Legacy of Service” tour in Des Moines Tuesday night. The campaign features gay military veterans, who are speaking out against the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy with the intent of replacing it with the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which attempts to eliminate the current discriminatory practices enacted against GLBT soldiers. Read Part I and Part II of the series; stay tuned next week for Parts III and IV.

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