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On Tuesday, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate and a former Iowa Army National Guard member, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) visited with the men and women of the Iowa National Guard who have been deployed to Washington, D.C. for the presidential inauguration ceremony this week. Ernst administered the oath of office to 20 National Guard soldiers re-enlisting in the United States Army.

Here are statements from Senators Ernst and Grassley:

I am extraordinarily proud of all of our Iowa National Guardsmen and women who are selflessly serving our country and working around the clock right now to keep our nation’s capital safe,” said Senator Joni Ernst.

I was honored to meet with members of the Iowa National Guard who are in Washington to provide security for this week’s inauguration. I have the utmost faith in their capabilities and commitment to their mission, and I thank them for their service to our country,” said Senator Chuck Grassley.

In 2003, Senator Ernst served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Senator Ernst retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after 23 years of military service.