This week, Iowa Public Radio has been taking a look at what it means to be a military veteran in the state. Today, reporter Rob Dillard talks with members of military service organizations. Nationwide, these groups have struggled to maintain membership levels in recent time. Some of the smaller chapters are in danger of disappearing altogether. In Iowa, however, Rob found they continue to play an important role in the social lives of many veterans and their families.

Over the next five days, Iowa Public Radio’s Rob Dillard will be asking the question, “What does it mean to be a military veteran in the state?” The U.S. Census pegs the number of veterans in Iowa at more than 245-thousand. Ask many older veterans what their top concern is, they’ll tell you health care. A third of Iowa’s former service members are aging baby boomers, who served during the Vietnam era. Another 30 percent fought in World War Two or Korea and are growing frailer by the day. Rob tells us access to health care is a major focus for veterans’ groups and hospitals.