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Memorial Day Honors Fallen Soldiers

With 3,000 Iowa National Guard soldiers deployed during this holiday weekend, it is a good time to remember and honor those soldiers who have died serving our country as well as support the families and soldiers serving right now. |With 3,000 Iowa National Guard soldiers deployed during this holiday weekend, it is a good time to remember and honor those soldiers who have died serving our country as well as support the families and soldiers serving right now.

Memorial Day dates back to 1866 when a small number of local communities in the North and South honored fallen soldiers of the Civil War by placing flowers on graves for Decoration Day. The holiday spread across the country, but it wasn’t until after World War I that Memorial Day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

During this year’s legislative session, the Iowa Legislature passed several laws to honor and assist military soldiers, veterans, and their families. One of the bills, House File 195, expands upon last year’s law allowing the assignment of visitation to a relative while on active duty. The bill allows an Iowa National Guard member, who is called to active duty, to assign physical care parenting time to a relative while deployed. The assignment of visitation or physical care parenting time must be done in the best interest of the child. The bill took effect April 12, 2011.

In addition, as some soldiers are deployed multiple times, the Legislature passed Senate File 402, which allows for a soldier who has already taken advantage of the Injured Veterans Grant Program to obtain additional benefits, if the soldier has another unrelated injury. The purpose of the program is to provide immediate financial assistance to the veteran so that family members may be with the veteran during recovery and rehabilitation from an injury or illness received in the line of duty in a combat zone or in a designated hostile fire zone. The unrelated injury must meet the same qualifications as the first injury to obtain benefits. The bill applies retroactively to September 11, 2001.

Thank you to all our veterans, and those currently serving our country.

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