Minnesota Veteran May Edition

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25 Veterans' Voices Award

25 Veterans Voices

In the spirit of celebrating the accomplishments of Minnesota Veterans, the Humanities Center will host an unprecedented event that celebrates 25 Veterans' Voices to recognize the next great generation.

The 25 Veterans' Voices Award will highlight Veterans who have made exceptional contributions to the community, in business, health care, public safety, education, the arts, government or any other endeavor which merits recognition. These rising stars have not merely returned to civilian life but are thriving and giving back to their Minnesota communities.

The committee is seeking nominations of Veterans age 40 and under who have made a difference in the community. Selected Veterans will be officially recognized at the 25 Veterans' Voices Award Ceremony held on September 11, 2013.

For more information and to nominate a Veteran visit the Minnesota Humanities Center nomination website.



From the Desk of the Commissioner

Commissioner Shellito

Across the generations – and across the centuries – Americans have answered the call to duty and many paid the ultimate price.  Memorial Day is a time to honor the memory and service of all Veterans and military who have given their lives in the service of this country. No greater sacrifice could ever be asked of an individual. The service of these Veterans has impacted the life of every single citizen of this great nation. It is for that sacrifice that I salute my fallen comrades.

There is no observance in America more somber than Memorial Day.  In events held across America this Memorial Day weekend, people will gather in small towns and big cities for one purpose: to remember our fallen, pay homage to their sacrifice and courage, and to recognize the selflessness of military service. 

Every day, young men and women are returning from Afghanistan.  Most come home to joyous reunions with loved ones.  Others come home with the visible and invisible wounds of armed conflict, while still others return in solemn, eternal repose beneath a draped American flag.

We can’t even begin to contemplate the world today had men and women we honor on Memorial Day not stood fast against our enemies throughout history. It is never over. Missions may end but the legacies left and the pain of their absence endures. This Memorial Day, let us remember.

Another very special event, the Ride for Healing will take place at the end of this month, and I commend Lee Ulferts, a fellow Vietnam Veteran and Commander of the MN Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for his efforts in coordinating this very important event.

This week long event will start on May 27, 2013 with a ceremony at the Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Memorial in St. Paul. Motorcycles and classic cars will leave St. Paul and travel to all four corners of the state. Vietnam Veteran recognition rallies will be held in over 60 communities over a four day period. The public is invited to all the events, which are free to show support to a generation of Veterans who deserve our gratitude. Then on May 31, the four teams will rally in the Brainerd Lakes area for two days of events concluding on June 2. For ride details and to participate in the ride visit the Ride for Healing website.


Memorial Day Events

Memorial Day Events

Memorial Day is a time to honor the memory and service of all Veterans and military members who have given their lives in the service of this country. No greater sacrifice could ever be asked of an individual. The service of these Veterans has impacted the life of every single citizen of this great nation.

Memorial Day is fast approaching and the Minnesota Department of Veter­ans Affairs would like to make this year’s Memorial Day special for all. MDVA has created a Memorial Day 2013 events page to showcase events. If you have an event you’d like to be included on the Memorial Day 2013 page, please email those to mdva.communications@state.mn.us.


New Hepatitis C Testing Recommendations May Indicate a "Double-Whammy" for Veterans

Hepatitis Awareness Month

Are you a ‘Baby-Boomer’? According to new recommendations by the CDC, if you were born between 1945 and 1965, getting a Hep C test should be on the top of your to-do list. Recommendations for hepatitis C testing of Vietnam Veterans have been in place for years, but this new recommendation affects an even larger group of Americans.  It turns out that people born during these years have the highest rates of hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Yet most don’t know they’re infected because there are often no symptoms and don’t recall a specific risk.

Hepatitis C is a serious blood-borne infection that can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, and liver cancer. Before widespread screening of the blood supply began in 1992, hepatitis C was commonly spread through blood transfusions. This is a life-threatening disease that leads to approximately 12,000 deaths every year from HCV-related illness. Viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic in the United States and more than 3 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis C. As many as 75 percent of people with chronic viral hepatitis do not know that they are infected. Without knowing if they are infected, these individuals cannot receive lifesaving care and treatment.

Veterans appear to have unusually high rates of hepatitis C. While the prevalence of HCV in the general population is approximately 1.6 percent, various studies have shown hepatitis C prevalence rates to be 5-10 times higher among military Veterans. Because Veterans and ‘Baby-Boomers’ have higher rates of infection, it is important that you talk to your doctor about getting a test for hepatitis C. If you are a Veteran of foreign combat- particularly during the Vietnam War- or were born between 1945 and 1965, you should make an appointment to speak with your healthcare provider.

For more information about hepatitis C, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website.