Name, rank, hometown?

The group "Vets for Freedom" has launched an ad campaign featuring a handful of soldiers who’ve done tours of duty in Iraq.  One of them is Ben Hayden from Iowa, the Iowa "captain" of "Vets for Freedom." 

Curiously, if you see the ad, it lists Hayden’s hometown as "Des Moines, Iowa."  I got to chat with Ben Hayden by telephone today.  He grew up in Ankeny, spent four years in the Marines and now is a student at Kirkwood Community College.  He’s living with his wife in Coralville right now.  I’ve asked, via email, where they got the "Des Moines, Iowa" reference that’s in the ad, but no response yet.

UPDATE:  Samatha Succop, a spokeswoman for Vets for Freedom, emailed this:  "The information in the ad is meant to refer to where he grew up, which he listed as Des Moines."  As mentioned, Hayden told me his hometown was Ankeny, which is a suburb of Des Moines.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. I just read this article (behind the times I know) and my only questions is “is it a slow news day?!” In a national commercial I’d list my hometown as Des Moines too, even though I grew up in Ankeny as well. Only people from central Iowa know where Ankeny is. Although many people don’t know where Des Moines is located, at least they know which state it is in. You need to get a life if this is the biggest thing you have to blog about!