Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs
The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs encompasses Iowa's three primary organizations with the mission of providing life-long care and support for Iowa's military veterans.
Serving Iowa Veterans Since 1887
The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs' history is rooted in the post-Civil War establishment of what's now the Iowa Veterans Home.
Iowa Veterans Home opened in 1887 as the Iowa Soldiers Home. Over the next 100 years, the need to assist veterans filing for increasing complicated federal and state veterans benefits was identified. Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs grew out of IVH into it's own, specialized state-level entity in unified effort with the 99 county-run Veteran Affairs offices across the state. To help ease demand on National Cemeteries nation-wide, Iowa Veterans Cemetery was established in 2008 - one of the first federally-funded but state-administered veteran cemeteries in the country - nested among the iconic, serene rolling hills of south-central Iowa.
These three entities re-joined under the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs in 2023.
Iowa Soldiers Home Opens
The Iowa Soldiers Home opened to house displaced Civil War veterans. At the start, life at the facility resembled life under Army rules and regulations. Residents wore uniforms, marched in formation, stood inspections, ate at a mess hall, and went to bed at taps. They slept in open wards and needed passes to get by the sentry at the gates.
Today, our Marshalltown campus spans 150 acres. We serve about 500 veterans and have more than 900 staff, making us one of the largest state-run veterans homes in the country. We seek to help Iowa veterans and their spouses through nursing and residential care. We seek to improve their quality of life by focusing on personalized services and choices.
Resident Work at the Facility
Residents at the home raised cattle and hogs and grew fruit and vegetables on about 160 acres. Their work helped the home be self-sufficient. The campus also housed the commandant, quartermaster, adjutant, surgeon, and nurses.
A Focus on Health Care
The home began to focus on professionally managed health care for aging veterans after the first infirmary was built in the 1890s. Six years later, a larger infirmary was built to satisfy the growing population. We have continued to update the facility and services over the years to provide the clinical expertise our residents need.
Open this PDF to learn more about IVH history.
Please contact our staff with any additional questions