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Desk of the Commissioner - September

Posted on September 05, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Tags: Commissioner

Commissioner ShellitoAnother exciting announcement; MDVA has been selected as recipient of the 2013 Board of Governor’s Emmy Award. This award was submitted in partnership with the Minnesota National Guard and Twin Cities Public Television for a body of work that spans more than six years. For MDVA this included the documentary programs “Home & Hope” and “Home for Heroes.” MDVA, along with the Minnesota National Guard and TPT, will be recognized with the "Governor's Award for Community and Broadcast Partnership” at the Midwest Emmy awards gala in late September.

I am proud to say that the Upper Midwest Chapter Board of Governors Award is the most prestigious Regional Emmy Award in the chapter. While awards are great, in my opinion, this award is significant because it reflects progress in getting our story told and support by the community and professionals across the region. The Department will be recognized at the regional awards gala in late September.

September also means “back to school.” Labor Day has now passed, and the return to school has occurred for many of our young citizens and Veterans. While families across the state – including my grandchildren – prepare for their first day back, our Higher Education Veterans Programs staff are busy working with Veterans to ensure they have the tools and support needed to succeed in school as well. The 'Circle of Life' once again reminds us of the wonders of nature and our various roles in life. 

As I write this I am with my national counterparts at the National Veterans Programs and Veterans Homes conference.  There has been a wealth of information disseminated as the VA continues to develop and improve the process for providing benefits to Veterans and families.  I have learned, indirectly, that Minnesota is in good standing when hearing of some of the constraints placed on my counterparts in other states.  I have also learned that the biggest push being presented right now is the move to eBenefits.  While it is important to register with eBenifts through the VA, in no means does that take the place of connecting with your County Veterans Service Officer. While computer databases are important tools, they work best as just that: a tool – not a replacement.  To connect with your CVSO, call 1-888-LinkVet or visit

Finally, I encourage each and every one of you to enjoy the 'Indian Summer' that is upon us. Before we know it winter will be upon us, as the Circle of Life continues!

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