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Minnesota Veteran August Edition

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Minnesota Veteran Banner
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Come Fly With Us - The Story of Two Extraordinary Women Veterans

Taylor Stephens
MDVA

Come Fly With Us

On Monday, July 15 the Minnesota Historical Society put on an inspiring event at the 133 Airlift Wing in St. Paul. The event was planned as a presentation from two extraordinary women about their unique and amazing flying careers in the Air Force. However, one of the speakers, World War II pilot Betty Strohfus, was unable to attend. Air Force Maj. Tammy Barlette gave the presentation solo and spoke about her career while also giving insights into Betty’s. The event started off with Andrea Kajer from the Minnesota Historical Society introducing the two women and talking a little about their backgrounds.

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Desk of the Commissioner - August

CommissionerShellito

August has arrived... the days are getting shorter, nights somewhat cooler and the kids are starting to think about returning to school. All of this gives meaning to the phrase “the Circle of Life!”

For us at the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs it also means starting to get ready for the next legislative session. Last year’s session helped the Department reposition itself in order to better serve Minnesota’s Veterans and their families, whether that be through our staff or the County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) grants or supporting our Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s).

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MACV and the 21st Annual StandDown

Taylor Stephens
MDVA

MACV StandDown

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.

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Minnesotan’s Military Appreciation Fund

If you are a Minnesota Veteran who served in a combat area after September 11, 2001 you may be eligible to receive a grant from the Minnesotan’s Military Appreciation Fund (MMAF). Eligible Veterans may request the grant by completing a very simple form that can be found at  ThankMNTroops.org. MMAF is a statewide fundraising initiative by the citizens of Minnesota, for Minnesota military personnel and their families. Launched in August of 2005, MMAF is a non-partisan, non-political, 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation. The mission of MMAF is to say "thanks" to Minnesota Service members and their families who are making sacrifices in the defense of our freedoms in combat zones around the world. MMAF has raised over $14 million, making it the nation’s largest-ever statewide fundraiser of its kind. MMAF has provided more than $9 million dollars in grants to more than 14,500 recipients.

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Veterans Employment Representatives

Elizabeth Ogaard

In May 2013, Elizabeth Ogaard was finally ready to pursue her career goal of becoming an event planner. She had to put this goal on hold for several years due to a military deployment to Iraq in 2008, followed by active duty orders here in Minnesota, and then another deployment to Kuwait in 2012. During the reintegration training, which all reserve component military members must complete following deployments, Elizabeth was reminded to go to the Minnesota WorkForce Center to file for unemployment. She admits that she was hesitant to go to the “unemployment office,” initially but is glad she did because that led her to Mark Mann and Dave Wold, her Veteran Employment Representatives.  She said that as soon as the Unemployment Representative learned that she was a Veteran he told her about the Veteran Networking Group held every Thursday at the Brooklyn Park WorkForce Center.

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Korean War Armistice Proclamation
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More than 1,000 Attend Vets Career Fair

VeteransJobFair

More than 1,000 former and current members of the U.S. military connected with employers at the Minnesota Veterans Career Fair held in Brooklyn Center on Tuesday, July 16.

Veterans met with approximately 130 businesses with current job openings. There were a wide variety of businesses represented with job vacancies in diverse fields. Exhibitors included private companies, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, service providers and government agencies. Recruiters accepted resumes and directed job seekers to channels for applying for job vacancies.

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Why Hire a Veteran?

WhyHireAVeteran

It's no secret Governor Dayton proclaimed July as “Hire a Veteran Month,” yet many employers may be asking themselves why they should hire a Veteran. It is true that Veterans receive training and experience that can be translated to civilian occupations; but perhaps of greater value are the life lessons the Veteran experiences while in the military. Military training not only creates Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, it transforms young men and women into responsible adults ready to fill Minnesota’s talent pipeline.

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What you should know about VA Health Care and the Affordable Care Act

What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act, also known as the health care law, was created to expand access to affordable health care coverage to all Americans, lower costs, and improve quality and care coordination. Under the health care law, people will have:

  • health coverage that meets a minimum standard (called “minimum essential coverage”);
  • qualify for an exemption; or
  • make a payment when filing their taxes if they have affordable options but remain uninsured.

In 2014, Health Insurance Marketplaces will be a new way to find health coverage. On the Marketplaces, some people may be eligible for lower costs on premiums and out-of-pocket costs based on their income.

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