Head of veterans group alleges age discrimination at Veterans Home

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The head of an Iowa-based veterans support group believes the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH) in Marshalltown is discriminating against young veterans.

Bob Krause, President of the Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC), announced Monday he'd sent a letter to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald. The letter asked the secretary to review admissions for younger veterans at the state-operated IVH.

“What is going on is the state has turned IVH into a nursing home for the elderly instead of a home for war injured that cannot cope, as was the original purpose of the Home," Krause alleged in a news release. "We have the Iowa Veterans Home clearly making decisions against younger vets because the state is obligated to pay part of the cost for keeping them.”

Krause said the facility's decisions are hurting younger veterans with severe PTSD or traumatic brain injury.

According to the IVS's webpage, "The present-day focus of the Iowa Veterans Home [is] to provide professionally managed healthcare for aging veterans."

To qualify for the IVH, the facility's brochure lists three requirements; honorably discharged veteran and/or their spouse, demonstrated medical need and resident of Iowa.

“The Iowa Veterans Home operates as required by Federal and State laws and regulations, providing long-term nursing care to veterans and spouses and domiciliary care at our residential care facility," said Jodi Tymeson, commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home, in a statement. "Only 9% of the annual operating budget is provided by a state appropriation.”

Krause is a former Iowa state representative. The Democrat is also seeking the party's nomination to challenge U.S. Senator and Republican Chuck Grassley in November.