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Loebsack newsletter: Honoring their sacrifice

Congressman Dave Loebsack -- CROPPEDU.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack
Iowa’s Second Congressional District

 

Last month, I had the privilege of hearing directly from veterans from across our district on several occasions.  As the father of two children in the Marine Corps, I know the tremendous sacrifice service members and their families have made for our country.

Often, an individual’s story sticks with you.  That’s how I felt after hearing about Mr. Ray Marlow’s service in Korea, where he showed extraordinary courage and patriotism.  In the battle of Pork Chop Hill, for example, Mr. Marlow was shot in the face and had shrapnel lodged in his stomach.  He survived despite incredible odds, and ultimately was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars, Combat Infantry Badge and United Nations Service Medal.   After he reached out to my office because he was missing a medal box, I was honored to present Mr. Marlow with all six medals and thank him for his service in person.

Early in March, I met with the Department of Iowa Veterans of Foreign Wars to hear about their legislative priorities and what I could do to help.  Less than a week later, I held a town hall in Davenport with Vietnam War veterans to share updates on legislation related to Agent Orange exposure and to learn more about what challenges they face.  I also wrote to House appropriators in support of full funding for veterans’ health services and in support of continued psychological health and traumatic brain injury research.

It is my solemn and welcome responsibility to serve veterans and their families in Congress, both through legislation like the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act, which I helped to introduce and which became law in November 2012, and by helping individual veterans and their families cut through red tape at the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration.  If you believe I can be of assistance to you, please contact my Iowa City office at (319) 351-0789 or toll free at 1-866-914-IOWA.

As a member of the the Military Veterans Caucus, I will continue to fight against proposals to reduce or eliminate essential benefits for those who have made such great sacrifices on behalf of our nation.  Thank you, and I look forward to staying in touch about this important topic.