Friday, April 25, 2008

Iowa Retired Vets "Burned Up" Over Smoking Ban

Sometimes it takes a veteran to know what life is like for other veterans. That’s why William Meyers, candidate for the US House of Representative from Iowa’s 4th congressional district is so concerned about how America treats its veterans. As a former Marine, Meyers knows what kinds of sacrifiecs our men and women serving in the military make on a daily basis. Now as he runs for Congress, he has been trying to stay in touch with other veterans, not just of the Iraq war, but any conflict where our fighting men and women have been called to serve.

Recently he visited the Iowa Veterans' Home in Marshalltown. He got a chance to chat with some of the residents and find out their concerns. Surprisingly, the latest problem has been the smoking ban. Since the state enacted an outdoor smoking ban on the grounds of public buildings the vets who live in the retirement home have been forced to do any smoking in a tiny room rather than outdoors.

I am no fan of cigarettes, but these folks are caught in a catch 22 of sorts. The Veteran’s Home is their “home” yet because it is a public building they are included in the ban. Now had they been living in a private residence, they could walk outside and smoke in their own backyard without a problem, but here it’s different.

It’s a sticky situation, and though it seems like a small thing, to the residents of the home who smoke, it’s a big thing. Meyers listened to them at the recent visit and is proposing a group of Iowa State Senators and State Representatives meet with him at the Vets' home to discuss this issue further.

It may be a little thing, but it’s important to the vets and Meyers is listening. Another fighting Dem for US Congress!

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