On 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.
July was an active month beginning with Honoring Veteran Day at Target Field. As guests of the Minnesota Twins, the nine Veteran Service Organizations in Minnesota were asked to have their leadership occupy the various positions on the field. With the bases covered, the sidelines were filled with military re-enactors in full wool uniforms, currently serving military and the National Guard unfolding the American flag for the national anthem. To top it off, a flyover by World War II era planes brought the stadium to its feet. It was an environment that excited all. One could sense the pride of all the Veterans assembled, whether they were on the field or in the stands. I personally want to thank the Minnesota Twins organization for their inclusion of our Veterans as a part of their Fourth of July celebration, and in particular honoring the Veterans who served this great country.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Patrick Loch, Minnesota National Guard.
Photo by Tech Sgt. Paul Santikko.
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.