June 6th marked the 70th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy, commonly referred to as “D-Day.” On June 6th 1944, the Allied forces launched the largest seaborne invasion in history. Nearly 24,000 Allied troops stormed the coast of France shortly after midnight, risking their lives to begin the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe. The operation greatly contributed to an Allied victory in the war, and remains crucially important to our nations’ history.
The family of a Veteran killed in action during the Korean War was presented with a Purple Heart Medal thought to be lost for decades. Commissioner Larry Shellito with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs presented the medal to family members during a small ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.
On December 7, 2013 the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad commemorated the 72nd Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Veteran community gathered to honor and remember this war, those who fought, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. As each year passes, we continue to remember those who lost their lives, and celebrate those who are still with us.
At the 2013 State of Minnesota Veterans Day event, a crowd of over 400 Minnesotans gathered to honor all who have served.
This year, the event was kicked off with an early addition of the Minnesota Military Radio Show, with host Tom Lyons and a variety of special guests, including Commissioner Larry Shellito, Maj. Gen Rick Nash, and Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie.
On Saturday, October 12, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and the Women Veterans of Minnesota hosted the Women Veterans Fall Luncheon at the Ft. Snelling Officers Club. There were 64 women Veterans in attendance, representing each branch and all eras of service from World War II to the current conflicts. Honored guests at this annual event included 12 WWII women Veterans. One of the highlights from the luncheon was listening to the WWII Veterans share a short story about their service.
Many people recognize November 11 as a day to honor and support those who fought, and continue to fight to protect our freedom. While nearly everyone observes this holiday, very few people know exactly where Veterans Day originated from. Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, marked the end of World War I due to an “armistice” on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The holiday continued to be known and celebrated as this, until 1954 when the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by replacing the word “Armistice,” with the word “Veterans.” By doing so, they were able to expand the holiday to honor all Veterans of all wars, not just those of World War I. From that day forward November 11 has been recognized nationally as Veterans Day.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to the Minnesota Military Radio show yet, I encourage you to do so! Starting out by broadcasting on one station, Tom Lyons, show host and creator, has steadily built a statewide network of stations across Minnesota. Tom brings in guests and ‘subject matter experts’ to talk about all things Veteran. Recently Tom was at the County Veterans Service Officers statewide conference to tape the show. And, as the entrepreneur that he is, he encourages those who don’t have the show aired in their area to contact local stations to see if they would like to do so. There is no cost to air the show and, yes, they can insert local advertising to compensate for the ‘air time.’ Check with your CVSO or local station to determine interest and visit the show's website. Also – be sure to listen to a special live recording of Minnesota Military Radio on Veterans Day live from the State ceremony in Inver Grove Heights on Twin Cities News/Talk AM 1130.
A member of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) team recently received the “Community Heroes Award” from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of Minnesota. The recipient, Mike McElhiney, is a combat-wounded Army Veteran with more than 21 years of service. The award was presented at the DAV event which recognized and celebrated the Twin Cities’ Community of Heroes sm. The DAV recognized McElhiney for his service alongside two community business leaders.
Marc Burgess (right) DAV CEO and National Adjutant presents “Community Heroes Award” to Mike McElhiney.
The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) helps positively motivated Veterans and their families who are affected by homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless. MACV accomplishes its mission by providing services directly or in collaboration with other service agencies. MACV coordinates these services through their three regional offices in Minneapolis, Duluth, and Mankato. Their structured assistance program assists Veterans to once again become productive members of society while also learning that their service is greatly appreciated by all. More than 25,000 Veterans seek assistance from MACV each year. Some Veterans have trouble re-integrating into society once they come back from war, so MACV is there to assist them in doing just that. Their programs are set up to meet the needs for chemical dependency treatment, mental health treatment, crisis intervention during emotional or physical distress, life skills training, educational services, family support services, transportation, money management training, re-establishment of social skills, training to increase basic life skills, and skills to obtain and retain permanent housing.