Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Iowa Front: Military & Veterans’ Weekly Roundup

Political Front

“Iraq War Veteran J.B. White to Lead Veterans for Biden Committee”: Sen. Joe Biden’s campaign announced that Iraq War Veteran J.B. White will serve as National Coordinator of Veterans for Biden. White cited Biden’s Iraq War plan and his commitment to supporting the troops as his main reasons for joining the Biden campaign: “I owe it to my brothers and sisters who remain in Iraq to do what I can to give them the best chance to return home safely. For me, that means supporting Sen. Biden for President as he is the only candidate from either party to put forward a realistic vision to resolve the Iraq war.” (Be sure to check back this week for an Iowa Independent exclusive interview with J.B. White.)

Read Iowa Indpendent's Ben Weyl's “Debate Over the Flag Continues”: Last week, a bill sailed through the Senate that would allow governors to order the lowering of all flags in the state, including those at federal buildings. The bill passed the House in May, and is now on the desk of President George W. Bush--though it could be vetoed." Although Congressional staff members involved with the measure say Mr. Bush may want to sign it for patriotic reasons, he may also be reluctant to appear to be ceding power over federal officials to the states," the Times reported.

The Iowa Democratic Party Veterans’ Caucus: met in Riverside to discuss the group’s charter, policy plans, and initiatives to move forward and have liaisons in all 99 Iowa counties. The meeting, fascilitated by Veterans' Caucus Chair Bob Krause, was attended by four presidential campaign representatives (see below). Dubbed “Our Second Call to Duty,” the mission of the group is to elevate veterans and veterans’ issue during the Iowa Caucuses. To learn more about or to join the IDP Veterans’ Caucus, go to the group’s website. The next meeting will be held in Des Moines on July 28th (go to site for details and to sign up).

Presidential representatives from the Obama, Dodd, Edwards, and Biden campaigns join Bob Krause (center) at IDP Veteran's Caucus meeting in Riverside

Military Front

Why America is Less Safe Because of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Part three of the series examining DADT’s impact on military readiness looks at how the policy has made America more vulnerable to attacks due to the firing of gay linguists.

Veterans’ Front

Sen. Grassley Calls for Review of Armed Forcers Mental Health Policy”: Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, along with a bipartisan group of senators, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, calling for an independent review of the personality disorder discharge process in the Armed Forces. The letter was prompted by a story in the Washington Post titled "The War Inside," which chronicled the struggles of Army Specialist Jeans Cruz, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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