A new Iowa director of Veterans Affairs Commission is being appointed today. Joe Cooley is a 60-year-old retired Coast Guard captain. He comes to Des Moines after nearly five years of being assigned with the V-A in the Philippines. Cooley says he’s excited about being back in the U-S and Iowa in particular.Of the tens-of-thousands of veterans in Iowa, V-A officials say only about one-third of them are taking advantage of their numerous benefits. Despite recent budget cuts, Cooley says he’s been advised he’ll be able to add four members to the Iowa V-A staff that now is just under one hundred.After his time in Manila, Cooley says he welcomes the promise of a new lifestyle in Iowa. He says the Philippines was troubled by things like typhoons, terrorists, horrible traffic and earthquakes. Cooley has seen his share of the world through the V-A and while with the Coast Guard.Cooley is a New York native and his wife is from Minnesota. They have two grown sons, one who’s now considering relocating to Iowa.
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