Minnesota Veteran - December

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Desk of the Commissioner - December

Commissioner Herke new

Happy Holidays! The snow, cold and shorter days are certainly reminders that winter is here. I hope the holiday season will brighten your days and warm your heart.

My first year as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) has gone by quickly! It is an honor to lead the agency responsible for serving Minnesota’s 308,000 Veterans and their families. I am also very proud of the 1,500 staff at MDVA that are dedicated to our Minnesota Veterans. Together, we have accomplished so much during 2019 that will be benefit our Veterans.

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Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor Day

The December 7 Pearl Harbor 78th Remembrance Day Event “a date which will live in infamy” was an event to remember and honor the 2,403 members of the armed services and civilians who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii that led to the United States entering World War II.

Present at the event were family members of survivors of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke, members of the Fort Snelling National Cemetery Memorial Rifle Squad, and guest speaker Charlie Korlath, a Veteran of the U.S. Navy 1944 - 1948 who served as a Gunners Mate in the Pacific Theater. He is also a 38-year volunteer with the Memorial Rifle Squad and has made more than 22,000 flag presentations. 

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MDVA Visits White House for Native American Veterans Conference

White House

Staff from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs were invited to the White House for a conference on Supporting Contemporary Native American Veterans that honored the long legacy of Native American military service (Presidential Proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month, November 2019). Staff attended briefings and a discussion with Vice President Mike Pence, Senior Administration Officials including Secretary Robert Wilkie - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary David Bernhardt - U.S. Department of the Interior, Secretary Eugene Scalia -U.S. Department of Labor, Administrator Chris Pilkerton - U.S. Small Business Administration and Assistant to the President Joe Grogan. Present were also panel participants from across the federal government who presented on issues and priorities pertinent to Native American Veterans.


What a CVSO can do for you

There are many benefits available to Veterans, yet many are unaware of all the different benefits they may be eligible for. This is where County Veterans Service Officers (CVSOs) can help. CVSO President Greg Peterson says “There are many authorities in a variety of Veterans Benefits throughout Minnesota and beyond, but the truly single expert for all benefits lies with the County Veterans Service Officer. These men and women are both customers and advocates in one person. The CVSOs empathy for ensuring that each Veteran, dependent, and survivor receives all of the benefits for which they are entitled is unmatched in any other profession.”