From Sen. Amanda Ragan –
Monday, May 27, is Memorial Day. It is a time to remember the fallen soldiers who bravely served our country and the veterans among us who have sacrificed for our freedom. Supporting our veterans, service members and their families is a fundamental responsibility we all share.
With the war in Iraq over and the Afghan war winding down, our obligation to our returning veterans continues. Education, health care and job training are among the essentials needed to help welcome them back to our communities.
We took another step this session to help veterans get the medical attention they need by providing assistance from the Veterans Trust Fund for service-related brain injury screening. Under House File 545, funding is available to those who cannot receive payment or reimbursement through any other federal or state program, private health insurance or managed care organization.
To ensure timely treatment, there are no income eligibility requirements for veterans seeking help from the Trust Fund for possible service-related brain injury. The Veterans Trust Fund also helps low-income veterans with expenses related to vision, hearing and dental care, durable medical equipment, and emergency home or vehicle repairs.
Here are a few other ways we have continued Iowa’s strong track record of supporting and honoring our service members, veterans and their families this session:
• Ensuring that those serving on active duty remain eligible to receive tuition assistance benefits and attend school once they return.
• Emphasizing the admission of homeless, honorably discharged veterans to the Iowa Veterans Home.
• Including a mental health treatment staff member on the care committee for patients at the Iowa Veterans Home.
• Providing care at the Iowa Veterans Home for Gold Star parents—that is any parent of a service member who died on active duty.
• Allowing veterans to immediately get their veteran status marked on their driver’s license or state ID.