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Desk of the Commissioner - March

Posted on March 01, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Tags: Commissioner

Commissioner ShellitoThis month’s newsletter highlights the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and as a Vietnam Veteran and a member of the VVA, I want to make you aware of what will hopefully become a decade long recognition of the sacrifices these American heroes have made to our nation.

The treatment of our Vietnam Veterans is one of the darker moments in our nation’s history. When they came home, most Vietnam Veterans quickly learned to just be quiet, go to work and try to get back into a normal life, and even more quietly deal with their scars left from the war.

What rose from these ashes, if you will, were leaders who entered all segments of our society. Whether it be in business, medical, education, government, or whatever, their leadership, sense of mission, knowing what was right, important, not expedient, lifted them, and our nation, to greater heights. But, they also didn’t talk about it!

What I noticed and valued during my years of service was that all Veterans and especially the Vietnam Veterans were there to insure our newest generation of heroes received the proper sendoff and return home celebrations. The VVA’s motto of ‘Never Again will one generation abandon another’ has rung true through our state and nation. To all involved . . . Thank you!

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. This ‘50th’ celebration will be unique in that it is scheduled to last 13 years in length . . . the length of the Vietnam War (1963-1975).

I also wish to commend Lee Ulferts, a Vietnam Veteran and Commander of the MN Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for some ‘out of the box’ thinking. This summer the VFW will conduct/coordinate a major statewide bike ride intended to increase the awareness of the contributions our Veterans have made to our state and nation. Honoring all Veterans for their service and sacrifice is the right thing to do! You can read more about the “Ride for Healing” on page nine of this issue. Increasing awareness of the roles Veterans play in our society is an important and worthy goal.

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