Minnesota Veteran: February Edition

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Desk of the Commissioner - February

Commissioner Shellito

February is designated Black History Month, a month in which we reflect on the great contributions made by this community of heroes.  I want to especially thank someone who played a transformational role in my life.  Let me explain!

As a young, naive Lieutenant in Vietnam, I ‘commanded’ a five-man team of Advisors.  We lived with the Vietnamese and supported their Popular and Regional Forces.  One of my team members was named Hindu, an African American E7, Special Operations Forces qualified, Infantryman.  Being from Northern Minnesota, not an area known for diversity, my experience with African Americans was limited.  I was blessed to have gotten to know Hindu.  On evening nights when all was quiet, we would talk.  As time went on, Hindu would open up a little more and share some of his experiences as a young African American man growing up in Mississippi.  Not something we as a nation could be proud of!  Hindu taught me more during these evening talks than I ever would gain in a ‘diversity seminar.’  Thank you Hindu for being a part of my life, and I think of you as well as Mazz, Ketchum, and Bent!

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Stolen Medal Returned


The family of a Veteran killed in action during the Korean War was presented with a Purple Heart Medal thought to be lost for decades. Commissioner Larry Shellito with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs presented the medal to family members during a small ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m.



New therapy helps Minnesota Veterans who suffer from psychological trauma.

Kari Anderson

An innovative therapy which involves controlling rapid eye movements during times of stress has been shown to help clients reprocess and desensitize disturbing memories and experiences to relieve the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). According to Elaine Wynne, EMDR Certified Therapist and Approved Consultant for the Trauma Recovery EMDR HAP Veteran Resilience Project of Minnesota, not only is it evidence based therapy for trauma, it has been successfully used to treat many other stress related conditions like phobias, grief, and phantom limb pain.



Mall of America Becomes a Yellow Ribbon Company


America’s largest mall became Minnesota’s 35th Yellow Ribbon Company in Minnesota. On Friday, January 17 Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed the Mall of America a Yellow Ribbon Company at a proclamation ceremony held in the Mall’s rotunda.  Hundreds of guests, service members, Veterans and families attended the ceremony in which Governor Dayton and Minnesota National Guard Major General Richard Nash recognized the Mall of America for completing the process to become a Yellow Ribbon Company.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a program that creates awareness for the purpose of connecting service members, Veterans and their families with community support, training, services and resources.

For more information visit Beyond the Yellow Ribbon's website.

Photos from the event >>


The Impact of IRR on SGLI - Know the Facts

Are you a service member who has been recently assigned to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR)? Then there’s important insurance information you need to know. Your Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage will end 120 days after the date you were assigned to the IRR.

The good news is you can get similar coverage through Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI). But you must apply within 1 year and 120 days from the date you were assigned to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR). If you apply for VGLI within the first 240 days of your assignment to the IRR, then you can get VGLI without providing proof of good health—even if you have a serious injury or medical condition. To apply for VGLI, visit the Federal VA's Life Insurance: Apply for VGLI/Convert SGLI to VGLI webpage.