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Ray Zirkelbach

From dKosopedia

Ray Zirkelbach (D) is a member of the Iowa State House of Representatives for district 31, covering Jones County and the southwestern part of Dubuque County (.*pdf map). He lives in Monticello. He was first elected in 2004, and won re-election in 2006, all the time serving in Iraq. He works as a corrections officer for the Iowa prison system, at Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa. Zirkelbach is 28 years old and married with one yound child.

As an Iowa National Guardsman, in the First Battalion of the 133rd Infantry, "The Ironman Battalion", he had an eight month deployment in Egypt in 2003. In 2006 his unit (about 560 soldiers) was again deployed, this time to Iraq, causing him to miss the 2006 state legislative session. His military service makes him the rarest form of Fighting Dem, and the ultimate political rara avis, an elected legislator serving in the trenches of war during his own term of office. Former State Senator Chuck Larson, Jr. (R) also shares this distinction, if not as a Fighting Dem.

Zirkelbach, in January, 2008, will finally serve in the house he was elected.

In mid-January 2007, a 125 day extension to his batallion's tour of duty in Iraq was announced, and consequently, Zirkelbach will also miss the 2007 legislative session. The families learned of this deployment extension first through a news release, with the troops learning of it from these family members. The Army admits this was a morale-sapping blunder on their part. He and his battalion are expected to return stateside in August 2007.

Then Democratic House Minority Leader (and since 2007, House Speaker) Pat Murphy said this, on the opening of the 2006 session:

Another Democrat, Ray Zirkelbach, is not here today. Ray’s National Guard unit is scheduled to be deployed soon to Iraq and he will miss the entire legislative session. We want to extend our best wishes to Ray for a safe tour of duty, and to his wife, Emily, who is expecting their first child this spring. To honor Ray’s service to his country and to remind us daily of the sacrifices made by all of our servicemen and women, I would like to ask Representative Gipp to join Senator Tom Hancock and me in placing an American flag on Ray’s desk.

On the opening of the 2007 session, on January 8, 2007, Speaker Murphy said this:

I also want to take a second to remember one person who can’t be here today, Representative Ray Zirkelbach, who is serving his country in Iraq. He has been over there for about 13 months, and our thoughts and prayers should be with Representative Zirkelbach every day when we do the opening prayer in this chamber, and for all of our troops that are defending this country. -- source, (*.pdf)]

Zirkelbach was the ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee from 2004-2006.

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This page was last modified 05:03, 17 November 2007 by dKosopedia user Allamakee Democrat. Based on work by Bartfart and dKosopedia user(s) Corncam and Powerofpie. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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