HOWARD CO., Iowa – Governor Branstad is recognizing Howard County as a leader when it comes to bringing veterans to it’s community with an official Home Base Iowa designation.
“Howard County is second only to Greene County on becoming a Home Base Iowa community,” says Governor Branstad.
It takes work to get to that point. Communities must create an incentives package. Howard County is offering a complimentary meal and hotel stay for vets who are job searching in the area.
Ten percent of local businesses must also participate in the process, agreeing to look closely at veterans’ applications that come their way.
“You have a lot of companies here that have signed up to hire veterans, a lot of enthusiasm and support eliminating the tax on military retirement, offering in-state tuition at community colleges and state universities, and there’s a $5,000 tax credit for veterans that purchase homes here in Iowa,” says Branstad.
He believes, for these reasons, veterans will want to put down roots in Iowa. Local army veteran, Marshall Rogne, is proof of that.
“I was in the army for three years. I was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia and I did one tour in Afghanistan for nine months. I just returned in November and ended my contract in February, and moved back home here. It was a great honor for me to come back to my hometown and immediately find a job,” says Rogne.
Now he works with veterans, like himself, every day.
“It’s just really rewarding working with veterans and helping them with the benefits they deserve, and they can find even more benefits with Home Base Iowa,” says Rogne.
Now, Governor Branstad is hoping that Howard County will serve as an example for communities across the state.
“To see it being implemented and I’m sure many other counties across the state will follow Howard County’s lead,” says Branstad.
“It just shows our state backs veterans completely,” says Rogne. As of now only two Iowa counties are considered home base communities.
If you want your county to be next, follow the link for more information: http://www.homebaseiowa.org/hbi-communities.