# Veterans



For PTSD Awareness Month, veterans need allies and advocates

David Farwell of Spillville, Iowa is a service-connected PTSD disabled veteran and activist for veteran health services as owed to them by law.  

I’ve moved 49 times in 50 years, which is not surprising for a military brat and former global project leader at an international corporation.  

What may be surprising is why my last move was from a Chicago high-rise to Spillville, Iowa, and how an invisible epidemic shattered my life, ended my career and brought me to the tiny town in Iowa where Dvorak completed his New World Symphony.

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What is this day about?

U.S. Army veteran Joe Stutler shares his keynote address (as prepared) for the Cedar Rapids Memorial Day ceremony in 2019.

One Veteran’s perspective on the meaning of Memorial Day:

Good morning…..

You’re asking yourselves, “who is this guy and why is he here?”….I wondered the same thing when Linn County Director of Veteran Affairs Don Tyne called me several weeks ago from the Commission meeting to ask if I’d be willing to speak today.

Why me, I asked? I’m not a retired general, not a Medal of Honor recipient, not a Congresscritter or Governor or the like….heck, I’m not even running for office….

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Capping costs no substitute for lowering drug prices

Sue Dinsdale is the director of Iowa Citizen Action Network and leads the Health Care For America and Lower Drug Prices NOW campaigns in Iowa.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley got it right when speaking about efforts to lower prescription costs. He acknowledged the “difficulty of passing something like this in a Republican Congress,” adding, “If we want to reduce drug prices, then we need to do it now.”

For years we’ve been hearing members of Congress promise to tackle rising drug prices without any action. Prescription drugs and the outrageous price of medicine has made reform a top issue that attracts bipartisan support. A recent national poll indicated that 91 percent of voters consider lowering drug prices a very important issue in the upcoming election, ranking it above COVID-19 worries. 

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Grassley misled on state-operated veterans homes

An earlier version of this commentary appeared in The Prairie Progressive‘s fall 2021 issue.

In a media release earlier this year and a commentary published in some Iowa newspapers, Senator Chuck Grassley asserted, “it appears that the standard of care and quality controls at many state veterans homes falls well short of those required by other government supported nursing homes.” He was referencing the number of COVID-19 deaths and infections in veterans homes across the country.

How many is many? The senator’s letter to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis R. McDonough cited a handful of media reports in footnotes. Although some of those articles cited statistics provided by the government, the numbers Grassley used are flawed.

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What the federal government has done for veterans in 2021

November 11 was first celebrated as “Armistice Day” in 1919 and became a national holiday in 1926. Since 1954, it has been known as Veterans Day.

It’s customary for American politicians to release statements on this day thanking veterans for their service to the country. But what has the government done concretely to return the favor to veterans? This year, more than usual.

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Miller-Meeks, Kyle Kuehl running in IA-01 Republican primary

U.S. Representative Mariannete Miller-Meeks confirmed on on November 10 that she will seek re-election in Iowa’s new first district, rather than in the new third district, where her home county (Wapello) is now located.

I never doubted that Miller-Meeks would run in the district containing sixteen of the 24 counties she now represents and roughly 80 percent of her constituents. President Donald Trump carried the counties in the new IA-01 by about 2 points. If Miller-Meeks had stayed in the new IA-03, she would have to run against Democratic Representative Cindy Axne in a district Trump carried by just 0.4 percent, where about three-quarters of voters live in Polk or Dallas counties.

Miller-Meeks hasn’t decided where she will move, or whether she will sell her Ottumwa home. Technically she is not required to move; as long as she resides in the state of Iowa, she doesn’t need to live in IA-01 to run there. But other Iowa members of Congress in similar situations (most recently Jim Leach and Leonard Boswell in 2001, and Tom Latham and Dave Loebsack in 2011) have moved after redistricting placed their homes outside the district where they planned to seek re-election.

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