Gov. Reynolds appoints Marine Corps veteran Matthew Peterson as new Iowa Veterans Home commandant

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Iowa Veterans Home (WHO 13)

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed Marine Corps veteran Matthew Peterson to take over as commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home.

Peterson, a fifth-generation Iowan from Red Oak, served as a major in the Marine Corps infantry. His 20-year military career placed him in a range of leadership roles during seven deployments spanning 30 countries and five continents.

After retiring from the military, Peterson directed a working ranch and has served as the executive director of a nonprofit, as well as a high school teacher, according to the news release.

“Thanks to two decades of leadership in the Marines and an impressive post-retirement career, Major Peterson brings a unique set of qualifications to the Iowa Veterans Home,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement. “He also brings deep appreciation for the military service of the veterans whose care he will oversee. His proven ability and dedication will pay dividends for the home, its staff, and its residents.”

Peterson’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation. 

The Iowa Veterans Home is located in Marshalltown. Founded in 1887, it is the largest long-term care center in Iowa, home to more than 500 veterans.

Peterson would take over for Timon Oujiri, who was “relieved of his duties” by Reynolds as commandant back in May.

Last December, Reynolds appeared with Oujiri at one of her news conferences and praised him for the work he had done to protect staff and residents at the Iowa Veterans Home during the pandemic.

“You and your team have done such an outstanding job,” Reynolds said at the time. “Job well done.”

Reynolds’ spokesman, Pat Garrett, provided no additional information on why the leadership change was made at the facility.

Penny Cutler-Bermudez has been serving as acting commandant since Oujiri’s removal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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