Governor Tom Vilsack is hailing an effort to increase the amount of veterans benefits sent to Iowans..Vilsack spoke this morning with over 100 veterans affairs directors, commissioners and county supervisors, He says 10,000 more Iowans were signed up in the past year for veterans benefits, and that translated into a $168 million increase in health care and pension benefits for Iowa vets. Vilsack says the new leader of the Iowa Commission on Veterans Affairs visited lots of Iowa nursing homes to help identify residents who were due veterans benefits. Vilsack says Veterans Affairs director Patrick Palmersheim spread the word that veterans can get help for buying prescription drugs, and are due other benefits. Vilsack says the extra money is a boost to the state’s economy. Vilsack says it helps hospitals, clinics and nursing homes and helps put money in the pockets of veterans who need it. Over 85-thousand Iowans are classified as veterans and are eligible for a range of benefits.