Former Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell dies at 84

DES MOINES, Iowa-  Former Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell has died after being found unresponsive early this (Friday) morning in his rural Decatur County home.

Former Boswell Chief of Staff Grant Woodard tells WHO Radio News the former Congressman had been dealing with an illness for many years, but had been staying active.

The 84-year-old Boswell, a Democrat, served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1997 and 2013.  Boswell served in the Iowa Senate for 12-years, including a term as Senate President. 

He also served 20 years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  During the Vietnam War Boswell was an assault helicopter pilot.  During his military career he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, the Soldier's Medal, and various other awards and decorations.

Boswell often spoke about his fellow veterans, and during an interview with WHO Radio in 2016 at the Gold Star Museum in Camp Dodge he said all those who served in the Vietnam era did not lose the battle, and they should feel proud that they did their job and did what their country asked them to do.

Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after learning of the passing of former Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell. Loebsack served with Boswell from 2007-2012

 “Leonard Boswell set the bar high for what it meant to be a Member of Congress. From the day I was first elected, Leonard was always there to lend a hand and provide counsel and advice. But Leonard’s service and dedication to our nation began well before he was elected to Congress. Leonard served in the US Army for 20 years after being drafted on his 22nd birthday. During that time, he served two tours in Vietnam as a commander of a helicopter battalion. Leonard truly defined what it meant to serve our nation and I am proud that I had the opportunity to serve with him. My wife Terry and I send Dody and the entire Boswell family our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

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