Veterans Benefits for Iowa National Guardsmen


On May 25, 1999, Governor Thomas J. Vilsack signed Senate File 462 into Law.

There are several provisions which benefit soldiers and airmen of the Iowa National Guard.  These provisions are outlined below, but may be found in detail in the Public Law.

  1. Definition of Veteran:  Effective 1 July 1999 veteran status is obtained when a resident of the State of Iowa served in the armed forces of the United States at any time during a conflict and was discharged under honorable conditions.  Inclusive dates are listed in the Public Law.  Former members of the Iowa National Guard who served at least twenty years (20) in the Iowa National Guard after January 28, 1973, and who were discharged under honorable conditions are qualified for this benefit.  However, a member of the Iowa National Guard who was activated for federal duty, other than training, for a minimum aggregate of ninety days (90), and was discharged under honorable conditions or was retired under Title X of the United States Code shall be included as a veteran.
  2. Specific benefits to which persons meeting veterans status are entitled:
  1. Markers for Graves (Section 35B.16, Iowa Code 1999).  The county commission of veterans affairs may furnish a suitable and appropriate metal marker for the grave of each veteran, as defined in section 35.1, who is buried within the limits of the county.  The expenses shall be paid from any funds raised as provided in this chapter.  The surviving family members obtain the marker by notifying the funeral directors, who contact the County Veterans Affairs personnel.
  2. Legion of Merit Special Plates (Section 321.34, Iowa Code 1999).  The owner of a motor vehicle who has been awarded the legion of merit may, upon written application to the department and presentation of satisfactory proof of the award of the legion of merit, as established by the Congress of the United States, order special registration plates with a legion of merit process emblem.  Applications may be obtained from the Department of Transportation licensing offices, or by contacting the Commission of Veterans Affairs.
  1. Preferences (Section 400.10, Iowa Code 1999).  In all examinations and appointments under this chapter, those who are citizens and residents of this state, and meet the above definition of "veteran" shall have five points added to the veteran's grade or score attained in qualifying examinations for appointment to positions.  Qualifying veterans should annotate veteran status on government application forms and be prepared to show appropriate supporting documentation.
  2. Military Service Tax Credit (Section 426A.2, Iowa Code 1999).  Veterans, as defined above, are entitled to military service tax credit.  The following information comes directly from the amendment:  "The moneys shall be apportioned each year so as to replace all or a portion of the tax which would be due on property eligible for military service tax exemption in the state, if the the property were subject to taxation, the amount of the credit to be not more than six dollars and ninety-two cents per thousand dollars of assessed value of property which would be subject to the tax, except for the military service tax exemption."  Veterans wishing to apply for this benefit should contact the County Assessor's Office in the county in which they reside.  This exemption takes effect on 1 January 2000.  The following documents should be accepted at the County Assessors Office as proof of qualifying service.
  1. Department of Defense Form 214 (Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty with inclusive dates matching those listed in the public law.
  2. National Guard Bureau From 22 (Report of Separation and Record of Service), documenting 20 years of service in the Iowa National Guard after 28 January 1973.
  1. The point of contact at this headquarters is Captain Todd Jacobus, Plans & Actions Branch Manager, who may be reached at 1-800-294-6607 ext. 4414 or by fax at (515) 252-4656.  The point of contact at the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs is Mr. Jon Schneider, Executive Officer, who may be reached at (515) 242-5331, or by fax at (515) 242-5659.


Iowa's National Guard and Reserve Components offer financial aid programs to support educational pursuits of their members, such as the Montgomery GI Bill and selective scholarships.  Interested guard and reserve members are also provided assistance in their efforts to gain college credit for military schooling.  Qualified veterans from all military services may be eligible for membership in the Iowa Army/Air National Guard, as well as all reserve Components located in Iowa.