Capital Clicks

New Veterans Home commandant appointed after predecessor’s abrupt removal

By: - July 27, 2021 5:03 pm

Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed a new commandant to the Iowa Veterans Home following the sudden departure of the previous commandant earlier this year.

Major Matthew Peterson, a Marine Corps Veteran from Red Oak, will assume the position, subject to confirmation by the Iowa Senate, Reynolds announced Monday.

After 20 years and seven deployments in the military, Peterson directed a working ranch and now works as the director of a nonprofit and as a high school teacher, according to the governor’s office.

As the commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home, Peterson will oversee the largest long-term care facility in the state. About 500 veterans live at the state-run home, according to the Iowa Veterans Home website, making it the fifth-largest state veterans home in the U.S.

In a written statement, Reynolds said Peterson will bring “deep appreciation for the military service of the veterans whose care he will oversee… His proven ability and dedication will pay dividends for the home, its staff, and its residents.”

The previous commandant, Timon Oujiri, was relieved of his duties in May. The governor’s office has not responded to repeated public records requests for information about why Oujiri was removed from the position.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.