I’m an Army Veteran. I’m all too familiar with the psychological hardships faced by many of my fellow servicemembers. Veterans, especially those who require ongoing mental health treatment, are very often marginalized and overlooked, and don’t have easy access to quality care that they need. Occasionally our Republican representatives will raise concerns after the VA receives negative press, and then use the publicity for a round of self-congratulation. But the matter falls into obscurity after a few days and nothing happens.

Even more alarming is the ongoing Republican attempts to weaken health care protections for people across Iowa. Never forget: fewer protections and higher health care coverage costs will not just hurt the civilian community, but also the veteran community.

We need representatives that understand the plight of those most in need and see that those with mental illness, Veteran or not, need help. I’m voting to elect Cindy Axne to the US Congress because she will represent ALL of her constituents, not just the lucky few. On November 6, please, vote Democrat for Iowa’s sake and for our country’s sake. We have a moral imperative as a society. We can’t afford to keep ignoring the people that need help the most.

John Riemenschneider

Des Moines