Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus Shunned

The Author with Veterans the Iowa State Fair Veterans Day Parade, Aug. 17, 2009.

The 2018 midterms are going to be a pisser and nothing indicates the bitter intensity of the upcoming electoral contest like publicly shunning the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus.

Whether or not there should be a veterans caucus, and a state central committee seat for veterans, is an open question. So few people participate in this caucus — and there are tens of thousands of Democratic veterans — the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus is not representative of any but a select few veterans’ views. That’s a problem.

However, thanks to the Reynolds administration, which ejected the group from participation in the State Fair veterans day parade, there may be a renewed interest in the caucus. The Iowa Democratic Party has certainly been more interested, making political hay out of the public shunning. The IDVC itself has been fund raising with twitter posts over the brouhaha.

Any veteran should know what I posted on twitter:

Truth be told EVERY veterans group that was at the parades I participated in had a political axe to grind. The idea veterans parades are apolitical is bunkum.

If we are going to shun veterans groups from the State Fair veterans day parade for political affiliations, let’s start with the American Legion which has a registered lobbyist in Des Moines.

I’ve written many times about being a veteran and this rings true today:

When I left the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, and the Robert E. Lee Barracks in Mainz-Gonsenheim, Germany, I returned my service revolver to the arms room and never looked back. It was with a sense of duty, family tradition and adventure that I had entered the post Vietnam Army. My enlistment was finished, I resigned my commission and like many soldiers turned civilian, my main interest was in getting back to “normal,” whatever that was.

Many veterans are Iowans and it was wrong for the Reynolds administration to begin politicizing the State Fair veterans day parade. She attempted to dodge responsibility, but how is that possible for a sitting governor?

I thought I’d gotten back to normal after my military service. Thanks to this Republican government I need to talk more about my time in the military and the Democratic values so many of my colleagues then held. It’s something I’d much rather let lay, but in an election where everything is politicized, to walk away from it would be neglecting my own responsibilities. That’s something a soldier rarely does.

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