It was the perfect opportunity for Kyle Dykstra, an Army veteran. The Pella native was pleased to come on board Congressman Bruce Braley’s staff to serve in the Veterans Outreach position and help his fellow veterans in the long and sometimes painful process of submitting claims to the Veterans Affairs Administration.
Congressman Braley knows the Veterans Affairs Administration office is flooded with claims and efforts are exhausted, which causes a serious issue for veterans in his district. So his office reached out to Dykstra and asked him to come on board to help tackle the issue.
“My mission moving forward was to help Iowa veterans work their way through the claims process, and be their advocate,” that Dykstra explained as his job duties.
He understands veterans, and understands the process, making him a great resource to veterans in Iowa’s First Congressional District. Not only is he the resource for any veteran, he knows where they are coming from and why it’s important they get help.
“It’s really just being the go-to guy for veterans in Congressman Braley’s office. Being a veteran myself, I can speak the same language,” Dykstra commented.
Being tied to Pella through a long family history and distance relation to the Schulte’s who founded Pella, Dykstra decided to complete his college studies at Central College where his parents also attended and has always had a yearning to join the armed forces.
“I was 17 when 9/11 happened and I’ve always been fascinated with the military. I really wanted to serve,” he said.
So right after he walked across the stage on graduation day, he took off for boot camp for the Army. He served five years and toured in Afghanistan. After his time in the Army, he found himself back to Iowa working for the State Department office, but was oftentimes away from home.