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.
Prior to the luncheon, the Women Veterans of Minnesota held their annual meeting. The various women Veteran organizations from throughout the state provided reports. This included the Women Marines, the Society of Air Force Nurses – Ft. Snelling Chapter, the Women Veterans of Freeborn County, and Women in the Military – Central Minnesota. Each year, the Women Veterans of Minnesota donates money to organizations that support women Veterans. This year they supported the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans for a Home for Homeless Women Veterans, A Place of Grace for the annual women Veterans retreat, and the Armed Forces Service Center.
Jamie Bahl was this year’s guest speaker. Jamie is a Navy Veteran, the VFW Department of Minnesota’s Seventh District Commander and a recipient of the Veterans Voices Award through the Minnesota Humanities Center. During her speech she highlighted the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial which is located at Arlington National Cemetery. The Women's Memorial is a unique, living memorial honoring all military women - past, present and future - and is the only major national memorial honoring women who have served in our nation's defense during all eras and in all services. She encouraged all women Veterans to register their military service with the memorial. The women attending the luncheon collectively donated $150 to the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial Foundation.