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Desk of the Commissioner - November

Posted on November 23, 2015 at 2:29 PM
Tags: Events, Commissioner

Commissioner Shellito 2015November has proven to be an exceptional month this year. Most significant was the Veterans Day celebration held in Inver Grove Heights. This event is the official State Veterans Day site and the event was the best attended I have seen for many years. The morning breakfast was great, the speakers were insightful, and the inclusion of elementary school youth singing the service songs and reading essays about Veterans made the day truly special. They all added a unique dimension to the importance and contributions our Veterans have made in the defense of our country. In short, I was very proud of what I experienced that day.

MDVA Wins 2015 Tekne Award

Posted on November 20, 2015 at 7:49 AM
Tags: General, Outreach, Technology

Tekne AwardThe Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) won the 2015 Tekne award for best “Collaboration for Community Impact” with their campaign to end Veteran homelessness.

This section “recognizes a collaboration or partnership that demonstrates leadership, dedication and excellence in delivering an innovation to Minnesota while meeting an unmet community need.” This unmet need was the more than 300 homeless Veterans in Minnesota that now have been identified and are transitioning into a place to call home.

Minnesota Veterans Day Event 2015

Posted on November 18, 2015 at 2:47 PM
Author: Blake Rondeau - MDVA Tags: Events

Veterans Day photoVeterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 was a tribute to all Veterans, those still serving throughout OIF/OEF operations to those who have served in America’s past wars: those remembering the 25th anniversary of the start of the Gulf War, 40th anniversary of the ending of the Vietnam War, 65th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, and the 97th remembrance of the ending of the First World War.

There is a lot to remember and a lot more to be thankful for. These brave men and women have served their country in times of need not to be recognized one day out of the year, but to have the opportunity to enjoy every day in a free country with friends and family.

Green Light a Vet

Posted on November 11, 2015 at 2:33 PM
Author: Blake Rondeau - MDVA Tags: General, Outreach

GreenlightAVetThis Veterans Day there was a new movement established to recognize Veterans, but just as importantly, recognize those who support our Veterans; it is called, Greenlight A Vet.

What is Greenlight A Vet? America’s Veterans are some of our Nation’s bravest, hardest-working men and women. However, it’s hard to show them the appreciation they deserve when, back home and out of uniform, they’re more camouflaged than ever. Greenlight A Vet is a campaign to establish visible national support for our Veterans by changing one light to green.

Desk of the Commissioner - October

Posted on October 26, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Commissioner Shellito 2015One of the key activities that has occurred this year on the Capitol lawn has been the addition of the Military Family Tribute. This tribute was dedicated in June and has received many positive comments on how well it fits in with the other memorials on the Capitol grounds. I recently gave a brief tour of our memorials to an individual involved with Veterans all across the nation. He was in awe of Minnesota’s tributes to our Veterans of all eras. The purpose of his visit to Minnesota was to lay the groundwork of the development of a national level book with a section tailored to each state’s role on the Vietnam War.

War Memorials

Posted on October 22, 2015 at 2:04 PM
Tags: General

Jack Rice
Guest Writer

Korean-War-MemorialSo who do war memorials represent anyway?  What are we supposed to think when we look at them?  Or is it just about waving the flag and pounding our chests? 
He was born in 1911 so that makes him one hundred and three years old.  How is that even possible?  More than double my age.  What can he remember?  Will he understand me?  And its not as if he has led this quiet sedate life without trauma.  Far from it.  As I walk into the room to sit down with this man, he immediately sits up taller in his chair and stares me straight in the face with a look that seems to say, I know who I am and where I come from.

Upper Post Veterans Community Ribbon Cutting

Posted on October 09, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Tags: Events, Families, Outreach

CommonBond-Studio-resizedOn Friday, Oct. 2, CommonBond Communities held a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Upper Post affordable-housing community for homeless Veterans at Fort Snelling. Five historic structures were transformed into 58 units of affordable housing. This new housing opportunity features studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments along with support services for homeless Veterans and their families.

The ceremony included remarks from Deidre Schmidt, President and CEO of CommonBond Communities, Mary Tingerthal, Commissioner of Minnesota Housing, Warren Hanson, President and CEO of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund/MN Equity Fund, Tom Wiffler, COO of UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans, Dave St. Peter, President of the Minnesota Twins, Patrick Kelly, Executive Director of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen, and Residents and Veterans Austin Poons and Judy Ganino. 

Desk of the Commissioner - September

Posted on September 30, 2015 at 11:37 AM
Tags: Commissioner

Commissioner Shellito 2015September held the Veterans Voices recognition awards banquet.  Veterans Voices is a program in which the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs partner to recognize Veterans within our community.  Every Veteran has a story to tell and the program’s goal is to encourage them to tell their story of their service to our great nation. The program was well attended and provided all with outstanding examples of Veterans who are making a difference in their communities.

The Higher Education Veterans Program

Posted on September 28, 2015 at 8:48 AM
Tags: Benefits, Higher Education, Programs

The Higher Education Veterans Program (HEVP) coordinators had a busy summer preparing for the new school year.  Prospective and returning students were greeted by MDVA staff at campus registration sessions, career fairs, reintegration events, and the Minnesota State Fair. We used these events to connect Veterans, current military and family members with higher education and their benefits.  As the semester started, staff have attended orientation meetings, move-in/family day and campus open house events.  Coordinators are busy planning and executing Welcome Back and Veterans’ Day events in their respective campus Veterans Centers.  We continue to assist campus Veterans Clubs with event planning.

Desk of the Commissioner - August

Posted on August 27, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Commissioner Shellito 2015The Minnesota State Fair, often referred to as ‘The Great Minnesota Get-Together, is here. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is working with our Veterans Service Organizations to ensure that we have our information booths available to answer Veterans and their family’s questions and concerns. Along with MDVA, the Veterans Service Organizations will also have information booths staffed. The booths will be at the “usual” location which is the south side of the 4-H building.

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