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      Congressman Loebsack visits with veterans in Ottumwa

      With the 4th of July holiday passing on Wednesday, many around the Heartland are reflecting on what veterans have sacrificed for their country.

      This week, Congressman Dave Loebsack has been traveling around southeast Iowa, visiting with veterans and their families; thanking them for their service and sacrifice.

      Congressman Loebsack spoke with KTVO Thursday, before visiting with veterans in Ottumwa.

      The congressman said that we, as a country, always need to do everything we can to make sure we are taking care of our service members.

      "We have to take care of them as far as their particular medical, physical or mental concerns. I've been able to get through legislation to help the National Guard embed a mental health provider in every unit here state-side. Because of this, we can cut down on the suicide rates and do everything we can for mental health; not just the physical health of our guard and reserve as well," said Loebsack.

      Many businesses around the country are starting to give preference in hiring veterans for open positions. Congressman Loebsack said that this is a great idea in getting service members back into the workforce.

      "I think it is great. I think that veterans should be given preference. Like I said, they have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. They volunteer and went into the military to protect us, protect our freedoms; so I think there is absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever giving veterans preference when it comes to jobs and hiring," said Loebsack.

      Loebsack's tour on Thursday took him to Knoxville and Newton as well. He stopped by both a VFW and American Legion post where he spoke with veterans.

      Both Loebsack's step-son and daughter-in-law are active duty marines.