Thursday, August 9, 2007

Iowa Veterans Put Politics Aside to Raise Funds for Wounded Comrades

The spirit of bi-partisanship has broken out on the presidential campaign trail in Iowa. The Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus is hosting a fund raiser in Des Moines Monday, Aug. 13 to assist wounded soldiers and veterans. The event, “Iowa Veterans’ Presidential Extravaganza," is open to all veterans, regardless of their political affiliation. “From the day you put on the uniform, you learn to take care of your fellow soldier. This is no different. Black, white, Hispanic, Republican, Democrat, Independent; we are all in this together. You may or may not like our politics, but you cannot deny that we are comrades in arms,” said Bob Krause, chair of the IDP Veterans’ Caucus.

The fundraiser will coincide with the Iowa State Fair’s “Veterans Day,” and net proceeds will be donated to soldiers and families at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and Clinics throughout Iowa. Landstuhl is the location that seriously injured American soldiers are Medivaced to after initial stabilization in theaters of war. Soldiers come in with no clothes and no gear because of the circumstances of the injuries. Immediate family members are authorized travel, but some extended family members are not. Money provided to Veterans Centers and Clinics in Iowa will be given to the chaplain's office to be distributed where there are special needs.

All of the Democratic presidential candidates have been invited, but only Sen. Chris Dodd, D.-Con., has confirmed to attend, while John Edwards and Sen. Joe Biden, D., Del., have confirmed sending high-level surrogates on their behalf. In order to accommodate veterans and their families, who will be attending the State Fair, the event will run from 3pm to 7pm.

The Extravaganza will be held at Four Mile Community Center, 3711 Easton Boulevard in Des Moines, which is only about 3 or 4 minutes from the main gate of the State Fair. From the gate, just go north on 33rd to Easton and then turn right to 37th. The cost of the event is $10 per individual, $15 per couple, and children with their parents are free. For more information about the event and/or the IDP Veterans’ Caucus, go to the group’s website.

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