The torch was officially passed this week at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. Interim Commandant John Mathes talked about the daily routine he’ll miss. Mathes says what he’ll miss most is leaving his office and meandering down to the dining room, “pulling a few legs on the way, doing a little B-S’ing at lunch and meandering back.” He says he may have to come back for lunch for a while. Though Daniel Steen has been at the veterans home for some time preparing to take over leadership, Thursday’s event marked the official transfer of authority from the interim Commandant. Steen said he hopes to duplicate the veterans’ motto of “Leave no one behind.” Steen says he and the staff will develop a relationship and not leave anyone behind. He reminded lawmakers in the audience to remember the veterans, too. Steen says even if he’s there for 20 years he hopes to not know everything and will continue to do something different. He praised the staff and veterans, saying it’s an honor to be “on duty with them.” At the ceremony Mathes was recognized for years of public service. He’s also served as warden as the Newton correctional facility and the state penitentiary.
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