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PetsLoyal2Vets

Posted on June 01, 2015 at 9:47 AM
Author: Annie McCahery - MDVA Tags: General

PetsLoyal2VetspicPetsLoyal2Vets is a Veteran-run, nonprofit, outreach organization which connects therapy and companion dogs with U.S. military Veterans suffering from service related traumas.

PetsLoyal2Vets says that their mission is, “to connect disabled Minnesota Military Veterans diagnosed and treated for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), or physical assault traumas with specially trained companion, therapy, and psychiatric service dogs.” The organization partners with supporting animal shelters, breeders, and rescue organizations at no cost to the Veteran.



WWII Veteran Presented Honorary Doctorate Degree

Posted on May 25, 2015 at 10:30 AM
Author: Annie McCahery - MDVA

Harold Gifford

WWII Veteran Harold “Giff” Gifford, received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement speech at the Dakota County Technical College graduation ceremony on May 15, 2015.

Gifford’s commencement speech highlighted all of the moments in his life which have brought him to this point. He spoke fondly of the Air Force, his family, and his pilot career. As he received his honorary degree from Interim College President Tim Wynes, he beamed with pride while the audience erupted in a standing ovation for him.



Desk of the Commissioner - May

Posted on May 19, 2015 at 2:20 PM
Tags: Commissioner, Families, Events

Commissioner Shellito 2015Memorial Day is fast approaching and I have been given the special honor of delivering the keynote address at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery Memorial Day event. The Fort Snelling remembrance has always been a key event within Minnesota.  As I prepare my comments, I am filled with a flood of memories, both good and sad. From my experiences while deployed to Vietnam as a young Infantryman – to my responsibility as Adjutant General in deploying young men and women to Afghanistan and Iraq, I am reminded that Minnesota is truly blessed to have a generation of citizen-soldiers willing to answer our nation’s call to service.




An Inside Look at the MDVA Women Veterans and Gold Star Families Programs

Posted on May 04, 2015 at 10:29 AM
Author: Annie McCahery - MDVA Tags: Families, Women Veterans, Programs, Benefits, Events

Minnesota National Guard Veteran, Ashley Laganiere, recently became the Gold Star Family and Women Veterans Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

The mission of the Minnesota Women Veterans Program is to ensure women Veterans have equal access to federal and state benefits and services. The program responds to gender specific needs of women Veterans and ensures that women Veterans are treated with dignity and respect. It is also geared towards offering the appropriate benefits and services needed for women, primarily in healthcare.



Redesigning Processes to Build a Safer Place to Live and Work

Posted on April 20, 2015 at 9:02 AM
Tags: Health Care, Silver Bay Veterans Home, General

From the Minnesota Office of Continuous Improvement April Newsletter

CI-Circular-2

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) has reduced employee and resident safety incidents at its Silver Bay Veterans Home, thanks in large part to a number of recently implemented process improvements. Employees at the Silver Bay home used Kaizen, Lean, and Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) processes to guide their improvement efforts. By creating and redesigning various standards, review processes, and programs they are building the home into a safer place to live and work.



Landlords Encouraged to Join Homeless Veteran Registry

Posted on April 17, 2015 at 7:53 AM

Veteran-Homeless-FamilyLandlords across Minnesota are needed in the push to end Veteran homelessness. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) recently announced the launch of the Minnesota Homeless Veteran Registry. This effort was the result of a strong partnership with Governor Mark Dayton’s Cabinet-level Interagency Council on Homelessness and in support of Heading Home: Minnesota’s Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.



Minnesota Month of the Military Child 2015

Posted on April 13, 2015 at 8:12 AM
Tags: Events, Families

Month-of-the-Military-Child

In April, Minnesotans across the state celebrate the “Month of the Military Child.” It is estimated that over 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by a parent’s deployment. In recognition of their sacrifice, we take the time to celebrate children of Service Members and Veterans during this month. This celebration was created by former Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger in 1986 to highlight the important role that military-connected youth play.

As Governor Dayton declared April 2015 to be the “Month of the Military Child,” there are a number of opportunities for children of Service Members and Veterans in Minnesota to be recognized.



Desk of the Commissioner - April

Posted on April 08, 2015 at 9:06 AM
Tags: Commissioner, Events, Families

Commissioner Shellito 2015The Minnesota Military Family Tribute (MMFT) is nearing completion on the State’s Capitol Mall here in St. Paul. This project, which is a special tribute dedicated to the families of members of our military past and present, has been over three years from conception, fundraising, design, and construction.  A brainchild of Bill and Teri Popp, this tribute recognizes all those behind the scenes - the spouses, children, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and all others who, through emotional ties, were there with their loved one as they were away from home in service to their country.



Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad – Honoring the Fallen for 35 Years

Posted on March 19, 2015 at 9:02 AM
Author: Annie McCahery - MDVA Tags: Women Veterans, General

Fort-Snelling-Memorial-Rifle-Squad-2Commander Terri Winter is the first female commander of the almost entirely male Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad. She was elected unanimously by her squad. Though she describes the feeling of her election as “absolutely incredible,” Winter does not deny that there have been difficulties.  She had not realized how groundbreaking her election was for future generations until her phone started ringing off the hook, “After breaking that glass ceiling, I am just starting to see the struggles that our daughters, nieces, and granddaughters will have to struggle with.”



Southeast Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery on Schedule for Completion

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 8:17 AM
Author: Annie McCahery - MDVA Tags: State Veterans Cemetery

Preston-Cemetery-275pxConstruction for the Southeast Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery is nearly complete. The expected completion for the Cemetery is scheduled for fall 2015. Since construction began in October, 2013, much of the Cemetery has been successfully finished while the rest is well on its way. According to Minnesota State Veterans Cemeteries Director, David P. Swantek, to date 80 percent of the overall project is already done. General earthwork, roadways, and installation of utilities and pre-placed crypts for casket burials has been completed. Cemetery buildings, final site work, irrigation system installation, and landscaping are all that remain.



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