Thirty-two soldiers who’ve been on active duty in the War on Terror have used the state’s home-buying assistance program for soldiers to move back to Iowa or settle in the state. Governor Tom Vilsack went to Coralville Monday to visit one of those soldiers — Jessica Kilgore who bought a house in Coralville with her soldier husband Paul.
The Kilgores have been married two years and this is the first home they’ve owned.
“They’ve only seen each other three times in that two year period because they both serve in the National Guard and they both have been stationed in Iraq at different times,” Vilsack says. “When one comes back, the other one leaves.” Jessica is home on a two-week leave.
On Friday, she saw her house for the first time. Iowa is the only state in the country to offer home-buyers’ grants to National Guard soldiers purchasing their first home. In the first year, one million dollars worth of grants were distributed. This year, legislators and the governor set aside another two million for the program.
The governor says so far, 450 families have received downpayment assistance worth a maximum of five-thousand dollars each. The Kilgores are both natives of Iowa who had been living in Washington state, where 26-year-old Paul Kilgore was stationed. His wife, 23-year-old Jessica Kilgore is on a two-week leave and near the end of her one-year rotation into Iraq.