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State Benefits Division Dedicated to Serving Veterans

Posted on December 12, 2014 at 1:40 PM
Tags: Benefits, Programs

The State Benefits Division within the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is most known for its administration of the State Soldiers Assistance Program.  This program administers eight program activities that deliver much needed benefits and services to Minnesota Veterans and their families in times when they need it most. Our team works tirelessly to provide Veterans and their families with benefits and services ranging from routine dental care; grants for housing to include, stabilization, attainment, and repairs; and tuition waivers to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.


Desk of the Commissioner - December

Posted on December 07, 2014 at 1:28 PM
Tags: Commissioner

Commissioner ShellitoDecember 7, 1941, is a day in which our nation reflects on the catastrophic impact of being attacked and forced into war.  December 7 has always been a day of remembrance.  This year it is taken on a personal tone.  In mid-November, my wife and I chose to take our daughters, son-in-law, and three grandchildren on a winter holiday to Hawaii. We stayed in Honolulu to enjoy a week’s worth of sunshine and relaxation. Having been there before, we also wanted to show our grandchildren the sites of the island. It was our visit to Pearl Harbor that I wish to focus this message.


Devoted Volunteers Awarded the President’s “Lifetime Volunteer Call to Service” Award

Posted on December 04, 2014 at 10:23 AM
Tags: Commissioner, Events

Presidential Award

Today Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito presented Reverend Richard L. Jenkins, Sr., and Mrs. Vivian Jenkins Nelsen with the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Call to Service Award. This award is a national honor in recognition of over 20,000 hours each of volunteer service to America.


Desk of the Commissioner - November

Posted on November 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Tags: Families, Commissioner, Women Veterans, Families

Commissioner ShellitoVeterans Day is the day we pay special tribute to all Veterans who served this great nation.  This became clear to me as my wife and I took our grandsons, ages 10 and 8, to Washington D.C.  We visited most of the ‘must see’ sights but most importantly the Veteran Memorials and Arlington Cemetery.  Walking the grounds of Arlington clearly magnified the sacrifices made and the importance of honoring our Veterans.



Veterans Day, a Day of Celebration

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM
Tags: Events

Veterans Day 2014

The snow and Minnesota winter weather didn’t stop a crowd of nearly 500 Minnesotans from attending the State of Minnesota Veterans Day Program to honor and celebrate generations of Minnesota’s Veterans. The event was held Nov. 11, 2014 at the Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights.



Ending Veteran Homelessness: We can, and so we must

Posted on October 03, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Author: Eric Grumdahl- MDVA Tags: Outreach, Programs

The State of Minnesota, Governor Dayton, and the Mayors of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud, Burnsville and Albert Lea have joined the Federal government and over 200 other communities across the country in committing to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

Five weeks ago, I joined the team within State government charged with helping us deliver on these commitments, as Special Advisor on Ending Veteran Homelessness based at MDVA with the Minnesota Office to Prevent and End Homelessness. I come to this role after serving as Policy Director for the U. S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Federal agency charged with coordinating the Federal response on homelessness and working in partnership with communities across the country to prevent and end homelessness. In my previous role, I served as USICH’s liaison with the Department of Veteran Affairs and as policy lead on efforts to end homelessness among Veterans and youth. I am delighted to bring the perspectives and experiences of my time in Washington back to my home state, and to join dedicated people at MDVA, throughout government, and in nonprofit organizations and communities across the state focused on ending Veteran homelessness.



Desk of the Commissioner - October

Posted on October 03, 2014 at 1:58 PM
Tags: Commissioner, Families

Commissioner ShellitoWith fall upon us, and the elections fast approaching, we are busily getting ready for the next legislative session here in St. Paul.  Much has happened these past few months, especially receiving the federal matching dollars which enables us to complete the Minneapolis Veterans Home campus renovations.  Also, several of our senior leaders, Michael Gallucci and Reggie Worlds, have moved on. Michael has retired and has moved to Florida while Reggie has accepted a position with Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development in Mankato.  Both are doing well and are excited about the opportunities they have in their new roles. This agency values the service they provided and know they will continue to serve Veterans in all their endeavors. 


Moon Rises Over Minnesota

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 1:49 PM
Tags: Women Veterans, Veterans Service Organizations

Peggy Moon will be first woman commander of the Department; Klinkner new chaplain.

Peggy Moon, St. Joseph, was elected Department Commander of the Minnesota American Legion at the recent Department Convention in Rochester.  Commander Peggy Moon

Moon, 62, a Vietnam Era Veteran, defeated Mike Schaffer of Fulda by a vote of 491 to 278. Moon becomes the first woman commander in the state’s history.

Another contested election developed at the convention when it was determined that the Department’s constitution would not allow Department Chaplain Richard Wog to succeed himself. Wog was the only candidate for the position.



Veterans’ Voices Award Ceremony

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 1:25 PM
Tags: Events, Legislation, Commissioner

Minnesotans from across the state recently nominated Veterans for making outstanding contributions to their communities. These actively engaged former and current military service members are recognized for going above and beyond to make exceptional, positive contributions that improve the lives of people across Minnesota.

From a host of nominees, 10 “Legacy” Veterans—a new 2014 award category— and 20 “On the Rise” Veterans received honors at the Minnesota Humanities Center's Veterans' Voices Award Ceremony on September 11, 2014. Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, Larry Shellito, briefly addressed the awardees and their guests at the ceremony.

Veteran Voices Ceremony Awardees


HUD, VA, and USICH Announce 33% Drop in Veteran Homelessness Since 2010

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 7:26 AM
Tags: General

From the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) today released a new national estimate of Veteran homelessness in the United States. Data collected during the annual Point-in-Time Count conducted in January 2014 shows there were 49,933 homeless Veterans in America, a decline of 33 percent (or 24,837 people) since 2010. This includes a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of Veterans sleeping on the street.



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