Friday Digest: March 15

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Friday Digest: March 15, 2019

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This Week:

Veterans Day on the Hill, March 20

This year's Veterans Day on the Hill rally will take place Wednesday, March 20.

Veterans Day on the Hill is hosted by the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Service Officers, the Minnesota Commanders’ Task Force, and the United Veterans Legislative Council of Minnesota.

  • 10:30 - Free Veterans and supporters pre-rally lunch presented by the DAV of MN at the St. Paul Armory (600 Cedar St.)
  • 12:45 - Veterans March to the Rally, starting from the Veterans Services Building (20 W. 12th Street)
  • 1:30-2:30 - CTF, UVLC, and MACVSO present Rally in the Rotunda

More Information >>

Vets Day on the Hill

Vietnam War Roundtable 2019 Schedule

This new series at Concordia University, St. Paul is an opportunity for Veterans (and those interested in the war and its legacy) to gather on a monthly basis to honor, remember and understand this tumultuous time.

Upcoming Events:

  • Women Nurses in the Vietnam, March 18, 7 p.m.
  • Reporting on the War, April 15, 7 p.m.
  • The Minnesota Connection to the Battle of Soui Tre, May 20, 7 p.m.

More Information >>

NW Metro VA Clinic Open House for Veterans, March 21

From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on March 21, Veterans and their families are invited to an open house at the NW Metro VA Clinic, located at 7545 Veterans Drive, Ramsey, MN 55303. The purpose of the event is to meet clinic staff, ask questions of leadership, tour the facility and enjoy refreshments. Leadership from the Minneapolis VA will attend.

2019 MDVA Women Veterans Conference, March 23

All ages, eras, transitioning military Women are welcome to the 2019 MDVA Women Veterans Conference at the YMCA Maplewood Community Center.

More Information >>

Women Veterans Conference

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans Events

The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MAC-V) is hosting the upcoming events:

SE Minnesota Veterans Benefit Bonanza, March 28

Veteran Benefit Bonanza

There will be a Veterans Benefit Bonanza for Veterans, current military, retirees, and their spouses/dependents on Thursday, March 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This event will be at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, WI.

The Veterans Benefit Bonanza will have qualified professionals on hand to answer questions regarding the following benefits:

  • Disability Compensation
  • Non Service Connected Pension
  • Financial Assistance
  • Health Care
  • Housing
  • Nursing Home Care
  • Education
  • Funeral Benefits
  • Home Health Care / Long Term Care
  • Job Assistance
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Any other Veteran related questions you may have

Vietnam Veteran Recognition Day, March 29

Vietnam Veterans are invited to attend the Vietnam Veteran Recognition event on Friday, March 29, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.


More Information >>

Vietnam Veterans Recognition

Vietnam Veterans Day, Forest Lake American Legion Post #225, March 31

Forest Lake American Legion Post # 225 will be hosting Vietnam Veterans Day March 31, with a ceremony begining at 2 p.m. featuring KLBB radio host, and Veteran KSTP news anchor Stan Turner as the Master of Ceremony.

More Information >>

Purple Heart Recipients will now be at the 'Front of the Line' for Benefits Claims

From the Military Order of the Purple Heart

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie just announced a new initiative that will place Purple Heart recipients at the "front of the line" for benefits claims.

"I will be announcing that for those who hold the Purple Heart, the recognition of wounds taken in battle, we will now place those who hold that decoration at the front of the line when it comes to claims before the Veterans Department," Wilkie said during a House Appropriations Committee VA general oversight hearing.

Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) advocates for “ALL” Veterans and their families to secure the benefits that have been earned from service. MOPH will also continue to advocate for all Veterans claims and the invisible wounds. Through our Service Program, MOPH assists about 135,000 Veterans a year by filing claims for the benefits available to them. You do not need to be a member of the Order to seek assistance.

"Veterans who are wounded in combat have made great personal sacrifices for our country, and we believe it is only fitting that their disability claims be processed as quickly as possible when they return home. We are very pleased by this announcement and deeply thank Secretary Wilkie for his continued commitment to Purple Heart recipients and all those who have born the battle" - Aleks Morosky, MOPH Legislative Director



Work at MDVA

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is looking for individuals across the state interested in joining a team that is committed to helping serve Minnesota Veterans and their families. Whether you are a Veteran, family member, or an individual who wants to show your support for our nation’s heroes, we are confident you will find a career path that is diverse, team-oriented and focused on making a real difference. A full listing of positions can be found at the Minnesota Careers website. Some of our current job openings:

Fergus Falls



Silver Bay

St. Paul


Waste Management - Hiring Lead Diesel Mechanics

Waste Management is in need of filling the position of a Lead Diesel Technician/Mechanic in Duluth, MN, which offers a $5,000 Sign-on Bonus, as well as relocation assistance.

Waste Management has been recognized as Best Employer of Veterans, by the following:

  • Military Times Top 75 “Best for Vets Employer”
  • G.I. Jobs Top 100 “Military Friendly Employer”
  • “Most Valuable Employer-Military”

Waste Management has found Veterans to be a great fit in their organization, with one in twelve current employees being former military. Waste Management encourages any and all qualified Veteran’s to apply online here.

Waste Management Flyer

Corrections Officer Career Opportunity with the DOC

The Minnesota Department of Corrections encourages Veterans to apply for Corrections Officer career opportunities!

Locations include Lino Lakes, Oak Park Heights, Shakopee, Stillwater,  Moose Lake, Togo, Rush City, St. Cloud, Faribault, and Red Wing.

Applications accepted through June 28.

Apply here through the State of Minnesota Career Portal

Corrections Officer Career Opportunity Flyer

MN Air Force Association Annual Awards Dinner, April 5

The Minnesota Air Force Association General E.W. Rawlings Chapter will be hosting their annual awards dinner at the Town & Country Club on Friday, April 5, from 6 to 9:45 p.m.

Dinner entrée choice is Chicken breast or Walleye or Tossed Vegetable Pasta. Gluten-free can be arranged.

More Information and Registration >>

Isanti County - Purple Heart Community, April 17

Isanti County will be honoring the sacrifices of all Purple Heart recipients during the Isanti County Board Meeting on April 17, 2019, which begins at 9 a.m. A proclamation will be signed by Mike Warring, Board Chair, designating Isanti County as a Purple Heart County. All are invited to attend and show their appreciation for the sacrifices made by Purple Heart recipients defending our freedoms.

Boots to Business Reboot, April 19

Boots to Business Reboot is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals. Veterans of all eras, Active Duty Service members (including National Guard and Reserve), and spouses are eligible to participate.


More Information >>

Boots reo Reboot flyer preview

Minnesota Veterans Home - Minneapolis Job Fair, April 24

Join our dedicated team! The Minnesota Veterans Home – Minneapolis will be hosting an on-site job fair Wednesday, April 24. There will be opportunities to apply, tour the facility, and be interviewed on-the-spot. Human resources representatives and hiring supervisors will be on-site to discuss job opportunities, and to learn more about you and your qualifications. There will also be many activities happening throughout the day!


More Information >>

Minneapolis Job Fair Flyer

Heroes Among Us Event, April 27

The Military Order of the Purple Heart will be hosting Heroes Among Us at Rochester VFW Post #1215.

100% of the proceeds go to the Military Order of the Purple Heart - Lloyd Swenson #7110 and the MN POW/MIA Riders Association.


More Information >>

Heroes Among Us

Veterans Health Administration - Midwest Health Care Network News Release:

New Chief Medical Officer Named for VA Midwest Health Care Network

EAGAN, Minn. — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. John A. Smyrski III as the new Chief Medical Officer of the VA Midwest Health Care Network. He will begin work at the network on April 29, 2019.

“We are excited to bring Dr. Smyrski on board as Chief Medical Officer for the VA Midwest Health Care Network,” said network director, Mr. Robert McDivitt. “His sound leadership qualities and proven experience will be valuable assets to the health care system, employees, volunteers, and most importantly, to the Veterans we are honored to serve.”

Dr. Smyrski has over 33 years of clinical, operational and strategic leadership experience in healthcare delivery, research, acquisition, and human resources. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN. A Distinguished Military Graduate, he received a Regular Army commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Aviation Branch. Most recently, he served as Chief, Health Services Division, US Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, KY. Dr. Smyrski holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Uniformed Services University, a Master of Public Health degree from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, a Master of Business Administration degree from Troy University, and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the US Army War College.

Dr. Smyrski is a Fellow, Aerospace Medical Association, a member of the Army Aviation Association of America’s (AAAA) Order of Saint Michael (Bronze and Silver Awards) and the Army Medical Department’s Order of Military Medical Merit. He is a member of Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health and Society of US Army Flight Surgeons Order of Aeromedical Merit. He also holds the prestigious Army Medical Department “A” Proficiency Designator and is a two time recipient (2004, 2014) of the AAAA Aviation Medicine Award for Army Flight Surgeon of the Year.

The VA Midwest Health Care Network serves more than 440,000 enrolled Veterans residing in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Health care services are delivered through an integrated system of 9 hospitals, 69 community based outpatient or outreach clinics, 8 community living centers and 4 domiciliary residential rehabilitation treatment programs.