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An open letter to Gov. Branstad regarding my home, Iowa Veterans Home

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 11:41 a.m. CDT

Dear Gov. Branstad:

My name is Michael Croskey and I am the current President of the IVH Resident Council.  I have written you privately about problems with our Commandant.  Having received no response, I’m now writing publicly, for myself and my fellow veterans living here, to ask your help.

Former IVH employees have been speaking out on our behalf regarding serious problems with our Commandant.  There was a doctor, a Ph.D. psychologist, two social workers, a retired Air Force Chaplain, and a recreation therapist. 

They are bound by high standards for personal and professional integrity and ethical values.  How can you accuse them of not being credible or simply playing politics?

At the recent Senate hearing, they spoke the truth!  The only one who didn’t was your Commission guy  when he said they’d never heard complaints from IVH residents. 

They did!

But then they dismissed us after talking to the Commandant, the very one who is the problem. How does that make any sense? Who has the “credibility problem” in this picture?

Following the Senate hearing, we had hopes of the Joint Oversight Committee convening to sort out the truth — for our sake, your sake, and the Commandant’s sake.  But your politics stopped it. Why?

Last year, the Commandant demonstrated his “good management” to you by taking $3 million appropriated for our care and sending it back to you.  He did it by manipulating staffing and that hurts us.

What’s most important to you, Governor; dollars or doing what’s right for veterans?

With all due respect, sir, you don’t know what’s really going on up here in the day to day world we live in. When visitors are here, the happy face is on, the glad hand is out there, and all the talk of caring and serving sounds great.

When you ask us how we’re doing, what do you expect us to say? Despite your disbelief, fear from his bullying towards residents and staff is real. Of course, you will never see it.

He’s been carefully performing for Jodi Tymeson too.  We’re hoping she will be good for us, but we don’t know what to trust yet.

In the mean time, you are the only one who has the power to help us, Governor.  And yet, you have not found any of these reports/calls for help credible. We find that “in-credible,” sir!

Please reconsider.

Michael Croskey

President

Iowa Veterans Home

Resident Council

Marshalltown

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