Appeal on behalf of the Iowa Veterans Home

The stubbornness and double standard shown by Governor Branstad in supporting the bullying and inappropriate behavior of the IVH commandant is unbelievable! With the tributes of Memorial Day behind us, the veterans at the IVH return to the status of being pawns in the hands of a commandant and governor whose decisions regarding their fate defy rhyme and reason. Faced with numerous and credible firsthand accounts of bullying and abusive/inappropriate behavior toward veterans and staff by Commandant Worley, does the governor suspend him with pay pending the outcome of an independent investigation? No. Our self-declared anti-bullying governor immediately digs in, fires from the hip and declares his undying support for this bullying commandant.

This is not admirable loyalty; it is irresponsible and inexcusable. Instead of looking for the fire causing all this smoke, the governor takes the path of covering up or denying what’s happening. He attempts to “shoot the messengers” by denigrating their credibility and dismissing them, accusing them of political motives, witch hunts, etc. If you know any of the people involved in making these charges, you know that is ridiculous. They are simply caring people who have served at the veterans home and have stepped forward on behalf of the residents and staff who can no longer speak out for themselves because of the fear and intimidation imposed on them by the commandant. They did initially try to speak out for themselves, but it came back to haunt them.

When we recently put the case before legislators, Senator Daryl Beall convened the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and heard enough credible testimony to write a resolution to convene the Joint House/Senate State Government Oversight Committee. This was the obvious way to go because it would have the power and independence to get at the truth once and for all. At the last minute, previous Republican supporters suddenly withdrew their support for this action. This is politics at its very worst, and it’s the governor who’s doing it. He seems to have an almost irrational drive to keep the truth hidden in this case. It makes no sense.

This is a shameful and unacceptable way to treat veterans and those who provide for their care at IVH. They deserve this fair hearing with the Oversight Committee. I’m a registered Republican. It’s not about politics. It’s about helping veterans.

I’m asking for public support. Please speak out. Memorial Day should be every day.