Cpl Stahr 22 Jul : 10:53
NOTE: The Last Soldier link in our site's menu will now direct you to its own Last Soldier web address, which is outside this site.
Cpl Stahr 20 Jul : 13:18
NOTE: Special Order #38 has been published on the Front & Center page of this web site.
Cpl Stahr 10 Jun : 11:06
The Clayton County Monument project was completed with great personal effort in time and money by the members of the 49th! This is another tangible example of our stated mission…we are NOT a paper unit, but an active, hard-working, committed group of men. I am a proud member of an organization who remembers those who have served & are serving today. 1/Cpl. Stahr
Cpl Stahr 31 May : 13:06
Full Military Honors rendered to Sgt. Isaac Ford; no better way to spend Decoration Day!
Cpl Stahr 28 Apr : 08:29
The new Rules & Regulations are published and may be viewed by clicking the R & R link in the top menu.
Cpl Stahr 04 Mar : 10:44
"...With malice toward none, with charity for all..." Remembering Father Abraham's Second Inaugural Address, 150 years ago today, on March 4, 1865.
Cpl Stahr 12 Feb : 08:47
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Father Abraham!
Cpl Stahr 01 Jan : 14:45
Happy New Year, Brother Riflemen and to all our visitors! 1/Cpl Stahr
Nearly One-Hundred-and-fifty-three years after Pvt. Lyon fell mortally wounded during the assault of his beloved 23rd Iowa Infantry on the Black River Bridge near Champions Hill, Mississippi, he now lay at rest on a peaceful hilltop in Des Moines; Woodland cemetery. And from this day forward, the site of his “last post’ is marked with the grey-granite government issue stone that his impromptu service to his nation had earned him.
Lyon need not have perished in the terrible fighting in the early days of the campaign to invest by siege the fortress City of Vicksburg, Mississippi. In fact, he needn’t have gone off to war at all. Born in 1812, Alfred Lyon was a man who was beyond what was considered to be “of military age” and had tried to enlist several times only to be told that by recruiting officers. Un-fazed by rejection he had attached himself to the 23rd Iowa Infantry as a civilian “Sutler” whilst the unit mustered and trained at Camp Burnside on the eastern fringes of Des Moines in the fall of 1862; and had accompanied the regiment south into Missouri and Arkansas and ultimately on to Mississippi to take part in wresting Vicksburg (the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy”) from enemy hands. Several times he had still entreated various and sundry military commanders to allow him to join the ranks of the infantry, only to each time be told that he was “too old” and not physically up to the rigors of a “soldiers life.”
Lyon had been an early settler in Des Moines, and had been a business partner of B.F. Allen in a dry goods store in a converted barracks building in the old Fort Des Moines. He had been elected Sheriff of Polk County, and had gone on to serve a term in the Iowa Legislature before the Civil War. Lyon had a family that included a wife and three children, two of whom were under the age of fourteen when he died.
His determination to serve in the ranks of the Union Army compelled him to leave his family. Friends, business interests and community behind him. His unflagging commitment to joining into the fray ultimately led one of the officers of the 23rd to accept his repeated entreaties and to have him fall into the ranks of Company “A” of that venerable regiment just days before they were to be fiercely engaged in the fighting to establish siege lines around Vicksburg. On May 16th, 1863, Lyon’s company led a charge against Confederate positions at Big Black River Bridge and he fell mortally wounded, a ball passing entirely through his abdomen. He live long enough to tell his commanding officer that he knew his wound to be mortal, but stating that he died with no regrets.
Today, April 23rd, 2016, “The Governor’s Own” 49th Iowa V.V.I., Honor Guard to the Iowa Military Heritage Society, was joined by a firing detail from the American Legion Post 274 in the rendering of Military Honors at the gravesite.
On hand for the event were members of the Patriot Guard Riders; Bill McCarthy, Sheriff of Polk County and his Chief Deputy, Tim Krum; Col. (Ret’d.) Robert King, Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Iowa; representatives from the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Children of the American Revolution; Danny E. Krock, Department of Iowa Commander of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; representatives of the Des Moines Historical Society, and the Iowa Military Museum at Camp Dodge, and private citizens.
Col. Robert King was presented with the ceremonial flag used during the day’s ceremonies.
It will be flown in Pvt. Lyon’s honor at either the Iowa National Guard Headquarter building at Camp Dodge; or, at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery at Van Meter.
David M. Lamb Iowa Military Heritage Society
Thank you to Jerry Tormey, Des Moines Historical Society, for a few of the photo seen in the preceding After Action Report
Iowans Serving Abroad Get Extension On the Voting Privileges
Changes to Iowa Law Code signed by Governor Branstad
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate applauds the Iowa Legislature and Governor Terry Branstad for making it easier for Iowa’s overseas military members and citizens to vote, and ensuring their votes are counted. The legislation (House File 2147) passed both chambers of the legislature unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Branstad last Thursday (3/10/2016) morning.
The bill gives Iowans serving or visiting overseas an extra 30 days to request, receive, and return special absentee ballots, extending the time from 90 days to 120 days prior to an election.
“We should do everything possible to make sure the people defending our right to choose our elected representatives are given the opportunity to cast their ballots. Extending the time to 120 days will make it easier for them to do that...” Secretary Pate said.
The legislation also removes an obstacle in the election process that currently prevents some ballots cast by overseas and military voters from being counted. Prior to passage of this bill, the wording in Iowa Code created a dead end for military ballots by requiring an absentee request for a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). That provision forced county auditors to reject ballots that were otherwise complete and valid.
“We are doing away with that provision. We must respect the votes of our military members who often times are in harm’s way and fighting for the freedoms we enjoy...“Secretary Pate said.
”We greatly appreciate the collaborative effort between Secretary of State Pate, the Iowa Legislature, and Governor Branstad to provide greater voting access for Iowa service members, especially those serving overseas. This law strengthens our Iowa service members’ Constitutional right to vote while they are defending our freedoms...” said Col. Greg Hapgood with the Iowa National Guard.
Joining Secretary Pate, Governor Branstad, and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds at the bill signing ceremony were state legislators, county auditors, Iowa National Guard Brigadier General Drew Dehaes, and Captain Kathy Barton, Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Co. Robert King, representatives from several veterans groups, and members of the U.S. Army.
A Public Service Announcement of the Iowa Military Heritage Society
Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense Commemorate Vietnam War (Des Moines, Iowa) The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is partnering with the Department of Defense to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. They will be recognizing and thanking Vietnam Veterans for their service and sacrifice by providing two events each year.
The first recognition ceremony will be conducted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2016. It will begin at 2pm, at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System Auditorium, Building 4, 2nd floor. The medical center is located at 3600 30th Street in Des Moines.
This ceremony will recognize all attending Vietnam Veterans who will be presented with a Vietnam Veteran commemorative lapel pin. (Shown below) The ceremony is being conducted in conjunction with the quarterly Veterans Town Hall (2pm – 4pm).
Following this kick-off event, Vietnam Veteran commemorative lapel pins will be available anytime for Vietnam Veterans at the Des Moines VA Central Iowa Healthcare System and the Des Moines VA Regional Office. We are inviting all Vietnam Veterans to be recognized during this Department of Defense 50th year Vietnam War Commemorative Period.
Veterans With Incomplete Health Care Applications Receive Additional Year to Enroll WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it will extend the healthcare enrollment application period for one year to approximately 545,000 living Veterans that have pending incomplete enrollment applications.
“Fixing the Veterans enrollment system is a top priority for VA. This is an important step forward to regain Veterans’ trust and improve access to care as we continue the MyVA Transformation,” said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson. “We’ve got a lot of work left to do, but this is a big step in the right direction to restore the data integrity of our enrollment system,” Gibson said.
The National Enrollment Improvement team conducted a detailed analysis of the pending applications in VA’s enrollment system and identified approximately 545,000 living Veterans whose applications were incomplete and in a pending status. The team also validated that approximately 288,000 pending enrollment system records were for deceased Veterans. VA has segregated deceased records from living Veteran records and, as part of the Veteran Enrollment Rework Project (VERP), will review each incomplete application to determine if any should have been enrolled in VA health care.
VA is required by law to provide notice to Veterans of incomplete applications. The VERP team could not verify that VA’s mailing system used to contact Veterans about their incomplete applications was able to notify the 545,000 Veterans identified above.
VA will contact living Veterans to confirm their continued interest in enrolling in VA health care and ask them for the necessary information to complete their application. Veterans will have one year from the notice to provide this information. After a year, VA will close the record. A Veteran may reapply for enrollment at any time.
As Veterans choose to enroll, VA offers an enchancement to their enrollment experience through “Welcome to VA” (W2VA). Veterans enrolled since July 1, 2015 have received a personal introduction to VA health care services, programs and resources to help them become more familiar with VA’s services. In addition, VA sends each new enrollee an introductory letter and personalized handbook in the mail. W2VA enhances communication by reaching out to newly enrolled Veterans through personal phone calls upon enrollment, providing assistance with health care inquiries and assisting with their initial appointment at their preferred VA healthcare facility.