The Iowa House today gave final approval to a bill that adds additional money into programs that helps Iowa soldiers who’ve returned home. The bill adds two million dollars into the Injured Veterans Grant Program and another two million dollars in the Veterans Homeowners Assistance Program.
Iowa National Guard spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood, says it’s welcome news. Hapgood says it’s a "Win, win, win" for Iowa as it not only helps the veterans, but it keeps them in Iowa.Both grant programs had run out of money. Hapgood says the additional money is a good investment.
Hapgood says housing and veterans grants are "super tangible" things that Iowans are doing for the soldiers and shows how much Iowans appreciate and care for the soldiers. Hapgood says the Iowa Guard is "amazingly humbled by how generous the people of Iowa are." An injured soldier can received a grant of up to 10-thousand dollars and a first-time home buyer can receive a grant of up to five thousand dollars.
Hapgood says the additional funds means soldiers who had their tours of duty extended will still qualify for the program. Hapgood says the extension of the First Battalion 133rd Infantry is a good example of how soldiers have been waiting for months to exercise their right to use the housing bill. The House voted 99-0 to send the bill on to the governor for his signature.