Next week we celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. There will be barbeques, fireworks, parades and festivities all across Iowa. The holiday is a great opportunity to gather with friends and families. It’s also a time that people throughout the nation remember and thank the veterans who have defended the freedoms we hold dear.
As Iowans though, we don’t wait for a particular holiday to remember these heroes. We honor them all year long – with programs and initiatives specifically geared towards aiding veterans.
One of the state’s most successful veteran’s programs stemmed from the 2014 Home Base Iowa Act, which provides incentives to transitioning veterans to live and work in Iowa. The military-focused benefits include:
- eliminating state taxes on military pensions,
- automatically qualifying veterans for in-state tuition, and
- financial incentives for home ownership.
The Home Base Iowa program is a one-of-a-kind initiative aimed at recruiting transitioning and retiring service members for the many skilled jobs that employers all across Iowa are seeking to fill.
Currently over 1,200 businesses statewide have pledged to hire veterans, and more than 2,000 jobs have been filled through this growing program. Additionally, 39 towns or counties have achieved the designation as a Home Base Iowa community by meeting the four criteria for designation, one of which requires at least 10 percent of the hiring businesses pledging to hire veterans to fill job opportunities.
If your city or county is not yet a Home Base Iowa community, now is the perfect time to act. Start the conversation at your holiday BBQ, then work with other community leaders and businesses to take part in the designation process. Together we can make Iowa the best choice for our retiring heroes to live and work when they transition out of the military.
As we celebrate Independence Day, and every day, we are proud to support those men and women who dedicate their lives to protect ours. Thank you for the efforts you put forth in your communities to welcome our veteran’s home to Iowa, and have a wonderful holiday weekend!