Vietnam veterans in Iowa who missed out on a wartime bonus back in the 1970s may soon be eligible for up to five-hundred dollars. The Iowa Senate is considering legislation that extends the bonus to Iowans who served on active duty from July 1, 1973 through May 31, 1975 — after the war officially ended.
Senator Steve Warnstadt, a Democrat from Sioux City and a member of the Iowa National Guard, is pushing the proposal. "We don’t think there’s a lot but there’s probably a couple of hundred folks that really are deserving — they’re eligible. They should have gotten the money," Warnstadt says.
According to Warnstadt, there are some legitimate reasons those bonuses never found their way to the appropriate veteran. "A number of folks either did not get an application in or were otherwise ineligible," Warnstadt says. A number of Iowans were still on active duty in Vietnam past 1973 when the war was "officially" over.
If the bill becomes law, state Veterans Affairs Department officials say they’ll spread the word through service organizations like the V.F.W.