May 1, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 82 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
HONORING THE IOWA NATIONAL GUARD AS IOWANS OF THE WEEK; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 82
(Extensions of Remarks - May 01, 2020)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E412] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] HONORING THE IOWA NATIONAL GUARD AS IOWANS OF THE WEEK ______ HON. CYNTHIA AXNE of iowa in the house of representatives Friday, May 1, 2020 Mrs. AXNE. Madam Speaker, I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me, in honor of National Military Appreciation Month, in recognizing the nearly one thousand members of Iowa's National Guard that are helping our state fight COVID-19 as our Iowans of the Week. Over 800 soldiers and airmen with Iowa's National Guard have been called to state active duty to help combat COVID-19. They're delivering personal protective equipment to our Frontline health workers and county emergency management facilities. They're helping our food banks package and deliver food to Iowans in need. And they're helping our state complete COVID-19 testing through the new ``Test Iowa'' program, a critical step to charting a pathway to safely reopening Iowa through a data-driven understanding of the spread of the virus in Iowa. Members of the Guard like Specialist Janet Fonseca and Private First Class Cesar Galvan--a husband and wife from Marshalltown--have stepped up and helped their fellow Iowans in the face of these unprecedented times. Our Iowa National Guard are citizen soldiers--meaning they have to balance everyday demands with their responsibilities of service to our nation. Even soon-to-be and new parents, like Guardsman Mark Williams, are balancing the needs of their families and the demands of serving during this pandemic. In the past few weeks, members of our National Guard have worked early mornings and long days, helping to deliver personal protective equipment to over 88 counties in Iowa to keep our health care workers and emergency response professionals safe. They've also helped to repackage and sort food at our food banks-- ensuring Iowans in need during this pandemic do not go hungry. I'm proud to represent Camp Dodge, the headquarters of the Iowa National Guard, in Johnston, Iowa. I'm proud of the strong servant leadership I've seen in Colonel John Perkins, serving with the Army Guard, and Brigadier General Shawn Ford, serving with the Air Guard. These brave men and women who are now called to serve are taking time away from their regular jobs and their families to help support our citizens--and they deserve the thanks of a grateful state. Our National Guard members now serving may be known to their neighbors only as members of the local church or an employee at a local business--their regular lives before this pandemic that gave no indication of their commitment to serve. But in times of crisis, we know we can count on them--for this is hardly the first time they've been called to help. Last year, when Iowa was reeling from devastating flooding in the southwest part of our state, it was members of our National Guard who stepped up to help crippled communities get back on their feet. And so, in recognition of National Military Appreciation Month, I'm proud to honor the brave and dedicated men and women of the Iowa National Guard for their critical help to our emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I ask everyone to join me in thanking the Iowans serving our country both here and around the world as members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Their commitment to our nation and to protecting our citizens--in the face of enemies both seen and unseen--is not forgotten in these unique and challenging times. ____________________