After 26 years of service in the Iowa Army National Guard, serving the majority of my time in Cedar Rapids including commanding the soldiers protecting the citizens of Cedar Rapids during the days of and after the flood of 2008, I became a volunteer for Healing at English River Outfitters (HERO).
HERO is a Corridor veterans organization that has participated in and held multiple events at the Veterans Memorial Building, the Veterans Memorial Stadium and in communities throughout Iowa and other states. I am writing in support of the Veterans Memorial Commission and the staff and volunteers of the Veterans Memorial Building and Stadium. Every person there has been extremely responsive to the needs of the community, veterans and veteran organizations.
I understand there has been a bit of a kerfuffle about the decision to hire a nonveteran engineer who understands the intricacies of the Veterans Memorial Building and its needs in becoming ADA-compliant and safe for all occupants.
HERO serves veterans with a variety of disabilities, and I have firsthand knowledge of some of the issues facing the building.
I am supportive of the commission hiring an individual with the skill set to deal with these difficult and intricate issues rather than focusing on veteran status. I trust the commission to have made a good decision. Every member of the commission is a veteran and understands the needs of the community of veterans. If these veterans are satisfied with the new director’s qualifications, so am I.