Miyoko Hikiji (pronounced Mee-yo-ko Hee-kee-jee) is a decorated U.S. Army and Iowa National Guard Veteran, acclaimed author, proud mother of two daughters and Democratic candidate for the Iowa State Senate in District 20.
Miyoko grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and enlisted in the active duty Army to support her pursuit of degrees in journalism and psychology at Iowa State University. After completing her initial contract, Miyoko re-enlisted into the Iowa Army National Guard while attending college. The September 11th Attacks on the World Trade Center eventually mobilized thousands of troops across America to the frontlines to combat terrorism and tyranny in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Miyoko serving as one of the many women who was called to duty for both stateside and overseas support roles.
After serving a 403-day tour for Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of the 2133rd Transportation Company, and completing nine years of service overall, Miyoko returned to her home state of Iowa to write her biography, All I Could Be: My Story As A Woman Warrior in Iraq to help communities understand the experience of Veterans in the military from a woman’s perspective.
Miyoko continues to serve her community as an outspoken political activist for Veterans’ issues, advocating for comprehensive gap services in employment, transitional housing and mental health service that ensure service members do not fall through the cracks of the system, and successfully lobbying for historic Iowa legislation designed to combat the national crisis of sexual assault in the military here at home with more rigorous oversight. As someone who benefitted from the G.I. Bill, Miyoko believes in increasing access to education for Iowa’s youth to give them a better head start in life. Miyoko understands how taking care of Veterans is a reflection of the overall health of the larger community and that the benefits of sound policy for employment, economic growth, health care and education will extend to all of the district’s citizens.
Miyoko Hikiji now seeks to continue her service to her country and home state by enlisting the support of neighbors, family and friends, Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, in order to help her continue advocating for issues important to Iowans as a state senator representing the residents of District 20. Miyoko brings the best of what Iowa has to offer to the Iowa Senate: practical, focused leadership and a can-do team approach that will get the work done.