Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack announced today the state will sell a special commemorative medal to raise funds to create a state veterans cemetery. Vilsack is rolling out the medals on a tour of Veterans events throughout the state. Vilsack says Iowa is one of only 13 states in the country without a state veterans cemetery. He says the state has a long history of service to our country. He says we have 80-thousand veterans who deserve the right and the honor of a having final resting place that befits their service. Vilsack says there will be two version of the medal available. He says it will feature the five Sullivan brothers of Waterloo on the front along with the U-S-S Juneau on which they were serving when they perished in 1942, but Vilsack says it could be the picture of any veteran, as the five represent all veterans and any veterans. The back of the coin will feature the Iowa State Capitol and the words “Celebrating Freedom.” The coins will sell for 50 dollars for the silver version, and 25 dollars for the bronze version. Vilsack says once 500-thousand dollars is raised, the plans for the cemetery can move forward. Vilsack says the importance of our veterans has been very real to him the last couple of weeks as he talked with the relatives of Iowans who were killed in Iraq. He says it’s a remarkable experience to talk to a parent who has just been informed that their son’s life has been taken in combat. Vilsack says, “the grief is understandable, but what is inspiring is the courage and the understanding that their son’s life has been given for a worthy cause, and a level of pride that is unmatched.” To order one of the medallions, you can call 866-690-4636, or surf to www.iowavetmedals.com.
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