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Minnesota Veteran July Edition

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Minnesota GI Bill Expansion

Taylor Stephens
MDVA

MN GI Bill

Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota State Legislature voted to expand the Minnesota GI Bill to include more Veterans. Previously only Veterans who served after September 11, 2001 were eligible for the Minnesota GI Bill, which supplements other Veteran education programs. Now, under the new law any Veteran under age of 62 who has served honorably in any branch of the armed forces during any time period may be eligible.

“This is important because the program will now assist the Veterans who need it the most,” said David Bellefeuille, director of the Higher Education Veterans Programs for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.  Many pre-9/11 Veterans have either used all their federal education benefits, or they have expired. The enhancements to this program will now assist all Minnesotan Veterans with long-term employment opportunities. The plan starts with education and financial assistance to help Veterans, who have served and sacrificed for this country, achieve their goals.

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Desk of the Commissioner - July

Commissioner

With the legislative session over and summer weather arriving, the activities in the office have been much quieter . . . still busy . . . but quieter!!

The end of the budget year of the biennium is complete and has kept us focused . . . not only on what was completed but also in preparation for the bonding cycle. Key activities include working with State and Federal leadership on the future of our Veterans Homes in Minnesota as well as positioning the Department for the future in the areas of technology, personnel, and, most importantly, better ways to meet the needs of Minnesota Veterans.

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Trolling for the Troops

Beth Kocian
MDVA

Trolling for the Troops

The 3rd Annual Trolling for the Troops event held June 6-7 was a huge success. Veterans and some of Minnesota’s best anglers spent a day on the water enjoying one of this state’s consummate pastimes – fishing.

The event kicked off June 6 at Camp Ripley, Minn. with a welcome, meet and greet and a wonderful steak dinner for all participants. Trolling for the Troops pairs disabled Veterans and recently deployed soldiers with some of the best anglers in the Midwest for a day of fishing on Mille Lacs or the Mississippi River.

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Minnesota Businessman Wins Prestigious Award for Charitable Work

Taylor Stephens
MDVA

Lee Anderson

Minnesota Veteran Lee R. Anderson Sr., owner and chairman of APi Group, Inc. was recently awarded by his alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with their Distinguished Graduate Award. This is the highest honor a graduate can receive. Anderson received this award for his lifelong commitment to charitable causes especially his devotion to hiring and helping Veterans.

"The honor is the most significant that I have been given during my life. To be recognized by the institution that has become such a great part of my very being in almost beyond description. I am humbled by the award and recognition," said Anderson.

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Federal VA Campaign to Raise PTSD Awareness

WASHINGTON –  In observance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) awareness month, the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD invites the public to participate in its “Take the Step” campaign.

“Every day of the year, we should focus on assisting those who have served our Nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “In June, during PTSD awareness month, we take special care to help Veterans with PTSD.  va is a leader in providing state-of-the-art, high-quality mental health care that improves and saves Veterans’ lives.  PTSD treatment can help and there is hope for recovery for Veterans who need mental health services.”

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