The Iowa Veterans Cemetery (IVC) is the first federally funded construction of a state-owned and operated veterans cemetery in the State of Iowa. The cemetery serves the veteran population throughout the state and around the country, as there is no state residency requirement to be interred in the cemetery. It is offers a picturesque setting in southern Dallas County, conveniently located along Interstate 80, west of Des Moines. Property for the cemetery was graciously donated to the State of Iowa by Mr. Bill Knapp and the Ronald Kenyon family. Ultimately, it is currently slated to provide spaces for 81,000 burials. Eligibility considerations are outlined in the link Eligibility for Burial.
A groundbreaking ceremony on Veterans Day in 2006 initiated the project. Construction began in late July of the following year, with the dedication occurring on July 3, 2008. At the time of the dedication, over 1,000 veterans and eligible dependents had already been determined eligible. The first of 76 scheduled interments began on July 7th.
The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs has multi-faceted roles related to veteran issues. Among those roles, is the statutory duty to “establish and operate” a state veterans cemetery. The Iowa Veterans Cemetery is an operating unit within the department. Our cemetery serves as a hallowed resting place for veterans and family members nation-wide, with individuals from over 38 states currently interred within its grounds.
The Commission of Veterans Affairs is a nine member commission appointed by the Governor of Iowa for staggered four year terms. Eight Commissioners are honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces of the United States. Six Commissioners are honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces of the United States and come from service organizations identified in Iowa Code section 35A.2(2). Two Commissioners represent the Iowa National Guard and the Iowa Affiliate of the Reserve Officers Association, respectively. In addition, a member of the public, knowledgeable in the general field of veterans affairs is also appointed. The Commission was created to provide recommendations to the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and supervision to the Iowa Veterans Home. Contact one of the Commissioners.
Each of Iowa’s 99 counties has a County Commission of Veterans Affairs that consists of three to five veterans identified by the county’s Board of Supervisors. Its duties are defined by Iowa Code chapter 35B. Among those duties are to ensure interment in a suitable cemetery any veteran, spouse or child if the person died without sufficient means to defray funeral expenses.
The Iowa Veterans Home is located in Marshalltown, Iowa and is the third largest state-owned facility for veterans in the nation. The campus spans over 150 acres with a resident population of over 700 people. The home provides personalized medical, nursing, rehabilitative care, mental health, pharmacy, and dietary services, along with many other services. Learn more about the Iowa Veterans Home.