Pentagon cuts would affect National Guard

KIMT News 3 – The commander in chief of the Iowa National Guard is concerned and is keeping a close eye on what’s happening in Washington.

More specifically, at the Pentagon.

Governor Terry Branstad is worried about possible cuts to the military which could include the Iowa National Guard.

And local organizations that help with those in the military are concerned as well.

Rhonda Jordal is always looking out for our fellow veterans and soldiers.

So when she heard that possible cuts could be made to the military overall including the Iowa National Guard, her response was simple.

“Oh no, oh no there’s been so much in the past they’re struggling with and then to have another cut, that was really hard,” said Jordal.

Jordal is the Director at Family Alliance for Veterans of America, and says this topic is one she and staff have been discussing lately.

They work directly with veterans and their families looking to find jobs or just to be of help in any way in regards to their time in the military.

She feels that if more than 600 Iowa Guard soldiers are cut, FAVA’s services will be needed even more.

“More veterans and more families needing help. we can see that they’re going to need help when it cuts their pay and its cuts housing there is going to be additional resources that are needed,” said Jordal.

And she’s not alone.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says he is very much opposed to the proposed cuts from the Pentagon.

He says he and others are trying to point out what could be wrong with this decision.

“I don’t think the people in the pentagon understand that, and I think they consider the people in the Pentagon consider the National Guard easy picking,” said Senator Grassleyl.

He points out that the Guard doesn’t just go to war.

They’re also vital in every state to help in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

And he says that hits close to home for everyone.

“Oh because you’ve seen them out there in the natural disasters helping citizens that have needs and they see them as a friend,” said Senator Grassley.

Grassley is crossing party lines to join Senator Tom Harkin in finding an alternative to the Pentagon’s proposed cuts.

But no matter what they come up with, Jordal hopes leaders in Washington remember how important all levels of service are here at home.

“And I think that service to country is so instilled in us in the Midwest, and so when it affects one it affects all,” said Jordal.

The possible cuts are all part of a plan that U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is proposing.

It would mean the smallest U.S. Army since WWII.

No timeline has been set of when this could or would happen.

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