Minnesota Veteran - August

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Desk of the Commissioner - August

larry herke

The Minnesota State Fair starts this week! That means that Labor Day and school are just around the corner.

While the waning days of summer always come with the “back to school” ads targeting kids, military Veterans may also be considering continuing their education, completing that college degree, or taking a special class to update their skills.

Did you know that as a Veteran, you may have access to both Federal and State educational benefits? New education benefits, including the post 9/11 GI Bill and sustained deployments have dramatically increased the number of Veterans attending college in recent years.

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MN State Veterans Cemetery - Preston receives impressive 98% comprehensive rating, among highest in the Nation

preston overhead

The State Veterans Cemetery - Preston has received a Comprehensive Compliance Score of 98 percent in the National Cemetery Administration’s 2019 Veterans Cemetery Grants Compliance Review.

The Preston Cemetery received 91 out of 93 possible points for overall quality performance in categories such as Interment Operations, Grounds Maintenance, Headstone, Marker and Niche Cover, Equipment Maintenance, and Other Standards.


Minnesota Veterans Home - Fergus Falls Choir Sings at Twins Game

fergus falls twins game

The Minnesota Veterans Home - Fergus Falls Veterans Choir sang the National Anthem before the Twins game on Aug. 10. In addition to the choir, Josh Keilen, an employee from the Veterans Home, was honored as the 2019 recipient of the Harmon's Heart of Baseball Award in a ceremony presented by the MN Twins and nonprofit Productive Alternatives prior to the start of the game.

Photos From Event >>

Beginning your Higher Education Career as a Veteran

higher ed

Because of their non-traditional student status and unique benefits, starting the admissions process can seem overwhelming for Veterans beginning a career in higher education, often discouraging them from the process all together.

“Veterans have to maneuver through all of the traditional documents, policies, programs, and offices that come with starting at a college or university, along with all of the benefits and aid offered federally and by the State because of their Veteran status,” explained MDVA Office of Education and Employment Director Dave Bellefeuille.


Harmon's Heart of Baseball Award

harmons award

Josh Keilen has been named the 2019 recipient of the Harmon’s Heart of Baseball Award for his outstanding work and community presence as a dietary associate at the Minnesota Veterans Home - Fergus Falls. Presented by the Harmon’s Heart organization and Productive Alternatives, a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing for those with disabilities, the award hopes to continue the legacy of Minnesota Twins legend Harmon Killebrew and his compassion for others.


Veteran Homelessness Landlord Engagement Event

landlord engagement event

On July 31, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz met with local property owners and landlords to encourage them to participate in ending homelessness among Minnesota Veterans.

“Minnesota is on track to reduce Veteran homelessness,” said Governor Walz. “We have 207 Veterans on the Homeless Registry. Many of them are holding vouchers to cover the cost of housing. Let’s give these Veterans a place to live and become the fourth state in the country to effectively end Veteran homelessness.”

StarTribune Article >>


2019 Veterans Legislation - Session Summary

As new laws from this year's legislative session begin to be enforced, take a look at what was accomplished for the Veteran community during the legislative session.

2019 Veterans Legislation – Session Summary >>

Higher Education as a Minnesota Veteran

According to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) Department of Education and Employment, around 11,000 Veterans are currently enrolled in a variety of public and private colleges and universities across the state.


higher ed2

Governor Walz signs Bill authorizing new Court of Honor Plaque to include more MN WWI Veterans

wwi bill

On Monday, August 5, Governor Tim Walz signed Bill HF 810 into law in front of a small crowd of Veterans, supporters and members of the press. The new bill seeks to honor all Minnesota WWI era Veterans by authorizing the replacement of a memorial plaque located in the Capitol’s Court of Honor.


Office of Education and Employment unveils new Veterans Application Tracking System to Commissioner Herke

On June 25, 2019, the Office of Education and Employment unveiled their new Veterans Application Tracking System, or VATS, to Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke.

In development since October 2017, the newly released VATS modernizes the paper-filling method used previously. Veterans will now be able to apply for, manage, and receive updates on their benefit applications from the online portal.


Celebrating Health Unit Coordinator Day - August 23, 2019

Health Unit Coordinators (HUCs) are essential members of our Minnesota Veteran Homes. HUCs facilitate connections between Residents and staff members and perform an endless amount of tasks including scheduling and administrative duties, patient check-ins, office supply orders, and patient coordination, which keep operations running and Residents cared for.