WASHINGTON D.C. — On the floor of the United States Senate Thursday, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) commented on the loss of Muscatine resident Chuck Geertz.
Grassley commented on Geertz’ s service with the military, as well as his ongoing advocacy to assist his fellow veterans. Geertz was killed in a motorcycle accident while on his way home from a veterans gathering in Colorado. During a procession through Iowa to his hometown of Muscatine, over 500 motorcycles and about 100 cars rode with Geertz’s remains to the site of a visitation at the Muscatine National Guard Armory.
“Iowans mourn the loss of Chuck Geertz of Muscatine,” Grassley told the senate. “Sergeant First Class Geertz was an active duty service member for 23 years, but continued to serve his nation after his retirement in 2009. In 2008 Chuck worked to establish the Healing at English River Outfitters or HERO organization. HERO provides veterans and their families with relaxing outdoor activities for physical and mental healing. Chuck is remembered for his caring spirit and dedication to his community and fellow veterans. While he will be missed, his legacy of community service will continue.”
On Sept 22, volunteers will march 22 miles from Middletown to Mt. Pleasant to raise awareness about HERO. On Sept. 28, HERO will have an open house from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at its location at 2564 305th Street, south of Washington. A Lady Veterans Retreat is slated for Oct. 4.
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HERO was established to provide veterans with a safe outdoor experience to promote healing and family integration. It gives veterans struggling with PTSD or other problems a place to go where they can talk about their experiences with peers and be a support group for each other.
After Geertz’s accident, the HERO board convened and determined the retreat will continue as a symbol of Geertz’s legacy.
During a recent Muscatine County Board of Supervisors meeting, chair Nathan Mather commented he has heard some kind of state honor is being planned for Geertz.