Despite Veteran’s Tragic Death, Lt. Gov. ‘Confident’ in Services for Veterans

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Questions continue to surround the death of the Army veteran found in Water Works Park last week.

Police say 41-year-old Richard Miles was found not wearing a coat or shoes and he likely died of exposure to freezing temperatures.

Friends say Miles disappeared earlier this month, but returned home recently to seek help. They say he had been struggling with issues including depression for years after serving in the Army in the mid 2000’s.

Miles visited the local VA numerous times and was given  medication but his friends say he was seeking long term hospitalization and evaluation.

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said she wasn’t familiar with this specific case at her Monday morning press conference but she is confident in our state’s services for veterans.

“ It continues to be a number one priority, we want to continue to make sure we have the infrastructure in place to meet the needs, they have certainly sacrificed and served our country, you know to protect our freedoms and so we wanna make sure we provide them with the care they deserve,” said Reynolds.

Miles is survived by a girlfriend and three children.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

8 comments

  • John Smith

    Was the Governor there, looking over her shoulder the entire presser? The two never seem to appear separately, after all.

    What “state services” for veterans is she referring to? Certainly not mental health services, I trust. I do not recall that the state HAS mental health services specifically for veterans. I hope that I am misinformed about that, but I don’t recall any.

    As far as mental health services in general, it is my understanding that the state is working diligently to get OUT of that business altogether. One facility has already been closed, and two more are on the chopping block now.

    So, what, exactly, is the Lieutenant Governor talking about?

    • Sandy

      This vet is a victim of mental illness. There are thousands of vets just like him. Our Governor continues strive to strip away this “infrastructure”. When will the Governor be held accountable?

      • marcopolish

        Have you never known what is going on around you, Sparky? This is not new. There IS no “infrastructure.” There was 30 years ago. But that can’t go on in a vacuum. The sorry state of affairs fully reflects the attitude of most Iowans. People whose ability to compete to purchase votes (mentally ill, unborn children, for example) have never had a lot of representation. Even the old (it was new in the 60s) “community mental health movement” has evolved into predatory commerce, with as much interest in eliminating competition through professional lobbying by its guilds, as there is in solving problems of the mentally ill. Just enough from those with an interest significant enough to prey on them for their livelihood, but that’s the same as farmers having an interest in livestock…they’re still basically “stock.” Yes, to them it is unfortunate when someone suicides, but only in the sense that a meal ticket that someone might pay for (via government money as much as insurance) has exited the scene. Don’t look to others in the professions and government to make the biggest difference. The government has brought you gamblers’ assistance and pesticides/herbicides and consumer protections that kill you first and then send your survivors a nice card.

  • John Dean Heidenreich

    Twenty two vets commit suicide everyday. This may not have been suicide but it’s obvious that we are not taking care of the veterans. We need to stop using and abusing our military for illegal wars launched to overthrow other countries and steal their natural resources.

  • Doug

    I served with Richard Miles as his Platoon Sergeant at 4/3 ADA in Fort Riley. He was an outstanding soldier and I’m very sad to hear of his passing. If there are anymore soldiers I served with looking for hlep please contact me ASAP. MSG Cantrell (Retired).

  • bjertbjaeger

    No surprise, she wasn’t at all concerned about a vet at the Des Moines VA hospital who was killed after a nurse abandoned his duties. Heck, the woman couldn’t even remember his name.

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