Governor Chet Culver has approved a bill which sets aside four-million more dollars for a state program that provides financial aid to Guard soldiers injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and another which provides home-buying assistance to active duty Iowa Guard troops returning to the state.
Staff Sergeant Mike Levine was on hand for the bill signing. "I was wounded when I was in Iraq and my platoon leader told me about the program. I put in for it so it could catch me back up with my bills and everything else because I was out of work for a while," Levine says. "Within three weeks I had it. This is a great program."
Levine, a Texas native who now lives in Granger, was injured when a roadside bomb exploded. He received a $10,000 grant from the State of Iowa to tide him over during his rehab, and until he was able to land a full-time job. "My wife almost fell over when she opened up the envelope because we weren’t expecting quite that much," he says. "It really helped out a whole lot."
Governor Culver is sending a pen he used to sign the bill to Representative Ray Zirkelbach of Monticello, a member of the Guard who is currently on active duty in Iraq.