Congratulating Major General Benjamin Corell on His Retirement

Floor Speech

Date: March 7, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. MILLER-MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Major General Benjamin Corell of Strawberry Point, Iowa, for his outstanding service as a 37-year member of the Iowa National Guard.

Major General Corell retired last week after serving as Iowa National Guard's top general since 2019, leading the Guard through the COVID pandemic.

Throughout his decorated career, Major General Corell has deployed overseas to Iraq, Afghanistan, Romania, and Kuwait, and has led several of the National Guard's infantry divisions. He retired with a master's degree and a career full of military awards and accomplishments.

Major General Corell plans to spend his retirement with his wife, Beth, and their seven grandchildren, passing along the values that guided him through his career. All three of his sons are noncommissioned officers in the Iowa Army National Guard. I wish them the very best as they follow in the footsteps of an excellent father and role model.

Coming from a financially challenged family in rural Iowa with no college education, Major General Corell's life journey represents the very best of Iowa and the rest of the country and serves as a shining example for generations to come.

I am grateful for Major General Benjamin Corell's service, and I wish him a relaxing and fulfilling retirement. O'Hara True Value Hardware Closing After 83 Years in Business


Mrs. MILLER-MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize O'Hara True Value Hardware in Ottumwa, Iowa, which is closing after 83 years in business.

Martin and Florence O'Hara opened the doors of O'Hara Appliance in January of 1940, but before long, the appliance store quickly shifted into a hardware store, too. Martin had offered home repair advice for years, and the shift came naturally.

The O'Haras value being family owned and operated, and their children each grew into employees at the shop, including their son Mike, who ultimately took over the business and who I know well.

For years, Mike O'Hara has continued his family's legacy in Ottumwa, offering the best service and advice for all things plumbing, electrical, automotive, construction, and repairs. You could take in any kind of screw from any kind of product, and they could tell you what it went for and how to replace it.

The store is also famous for having the best Christmas decorations in town, to include live reindeer in a stable outside throughout December.

O'Hara has overcome numerous challenges over the last several decades, including major fires, the flood of 1993, and most recently, the COVID pandemic.

Mike's commitment to serving his community has always remained clear and steadfast. I am proud to know Mike and his family, and I wish him the very best in retirement--they so deserve that--but they are going to be greatly missed. The town will cherish their memories from O'Hara's and we will all miss going there for home repair needs.