Hiring veterans

MASON CITY, Iowa –   It’s called Home Base Iowa.

The plan was created by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to help veterans find jobs and make the switch to civilian life as easy as possible.

It’s meant to bring more veterans into the state, but first funding is needed.

So far the initiative has passed its first hurdle.

And for one local active duty member in the military is hopeful for the plan.

“Well I had an interest in joining the military in order to serve my country. I had an interest in the types of things that they did in the military, had an interest in serving and experiencing all the things that go with that,” said Brent Trout.

Brent Trout is one busy man as Mason City’s City Administrator, but what many may not realize at first greet, is that Brent has also serves his country as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa National Guard.

For him, deciding to keep Iowa as home base was important.

“Living in a small town especially, I think its amazing the support we’ve seen for the military and specifically Iowa Guard from average citizens. Thankful for their service, I put the uniform and walk around its not uncommon to have somebody say thank you for your service,” said Brent.

And that’s exactly what Governor Branstad wants to hear.

His Home Base Iowa Plan is meant to bring skilled veterans leaving the military to Iowa to work and live.

Mike Flatness, Area Chair for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, is hopeful that the plan works.

“Iowa has been, is, and I think will continue to be a veteran friendly and veteran rich state,” said Flatness.

Right now, the plan is receiving initial approval of two million dollars in funding, but more debate is needed.

If it all pans out, one million would go toward advertising to bring veterans to Iowa.

The other million would be used to help make it easier for vets to receive professional licensure in fields related to their duties.

“Who wouldn’t like to have a combat training medic working for them that could save lives in a heart beat or the technology that’s available to our veterans today is unbelievable,” said Flatness.

And Brent says he’s hoping others see the benefit in that as well.

“That is the key is at least get them to consider often times they’re not even considering Iowa and I think if they consider Iowa they will find there are good things here probably,” said Brent.

Brent served in Saudi Arabia, Desert Storm, Iraq, and even Korea.

He says the city of Mason City has at least four veterans serving within their workforce.

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