A Short History of the Iowa Army National Guard Officers Auxiliary
For hundreds of years, Iowa has participated in our nation’s call for military assistance. As early as 1838, territorial militias within the state responded to a call to help fellow citizens in times of need and to be ready to go to war if necessary. Brave men and women have selflessly served our state and country through early land battles and today’s terrorist activity.
In April 1967, spouses of Iowa National Guard officers gathered to form their own organization – a social, charitable, and support network of sorts. This would be the beginning of the Iowa National Guard Officers Auxiliary (INGOAux). Now 50 years after the inaugural meeting, the organization celebrates its rich past and looks forward to a bright future.
By 1968, the membership had grown to 95 members. Around this time, the organization decided on a motto of “Unity for Fellowship and Charity” and the colors blue, green, and white.
Over the next few decades, the INGOAux continued to meet socially and provide charitable gifts to the military community. With the significant changes to the security of the United States of America following September 11, 2011 and the beginning of large deployments, the INGOAux adapted to the needs of Iowa’s National Guard and military families. It was at this point the INGOAux transitioned from a social and charitable club to a non-profit organization.
Since the reorganization, the organization has grown in budget and giving. Successful fundraising solicitations were presented to local organizations such as the Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, churches, and businesses. These fundraising events by our past leadership have lasting benefits for families today, with opportunities such as:
Scholarships and gas cards for children to attend camp through Operation Military Kids,
Books for schools and public libraries to help families and educators prepare and assist children during deployments,
Scholarships for children and spouses to attend college,
Family service event funding,
Funding assistance for the Strong Bonds marriage enrichment programs,
Decorated trees for Iowa’s Gold Star Museum honoring Iowa fallen military members,
Gift cards to wounded warriors in medical treatment centers, and
Home of the Bear Hug Program, which has provided teddy bears to the children of deploying National Guard Members.
Today, the INGOAux is a strong and vibrant organization. The tremendous effort and commitment by past members and leadership to continues to provide opportunities to remain focused on the mission of enhancing the well-being of active and retired personnel of the Iowa National Guard and their families.