Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Veterans Caucus Hold First Organizational Meeting

Members of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Armed Forces Veterans Caucus met in Des Moines on March 31 to begin planning a charity barbecue. Tentatively scheduled for Iowa State Fair week, Veteran’s Caucus Chair Bob Krause, of Fairfield, hopes the benefit will raise enough funds to support several veterans’ organizations across Iowa.

The Veterans Caucus used this meeting to organize a steering committee made up of members from each of Iowa’s congressional districts. The Second District is represented by Terry Philips of Riverside and John Pomberg of Salem. Dave Campbell of Des Moines, former caucus chair, is responsible for organizing the August event. Tom Howe, of Dubuque, will head the platform committee and Ron Healey, of Durango, will coordinate the efforts of the IDP Veterans Caucus with other veterans’ organizations.

Third District Congressional Representative Leonard Boswell and wife Dody attended the Veterans Caucus Meeting. Also in attendance were Michelle Obama, wife of Presidential Candidate, Margaret Vernon from Senator Harkin’s office and representatives from the Senators Clinton and Obama campaigns. During the meeting Rep. Boswell spoke about the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act. This bill provides that the Department of Veterans Affairs shall develop a comprehensive program to screen and monitor veterans for post traumatic stress disorder, and other factors related to combat. The bill is in honor of Joshua Omvig, a young man from Grundy Center who tragically took his own life after returning home from an 11-month tour in Iraq

With the conclusion of business, Alvin Flyr, of Des Moines, was elected vice chair of the Veterans Caucus. The seat was previously held by Dave Campbell, who vacated it to serve as a third district representative on the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee.

For more information about the Armed Forces Veterans Caucus, contact the Iowa Democratic Party at 515-244-7292 or Terry Philips at 319-430-8536.