Minnesota Veteran - March

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Desk of the Commissioner - March

Commissioner Herke new

During this unprecedented time, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) remains committed to serving Minnesota Veterans, especially those in our Minnesota Veterans Homes who have entrusted us with their care. We are following CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidance to provide a safe environment for both the Veterans we serve and our employees. We are taking aggressive but necessary prevention and preparedness steps.

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Minnesota Wins National Award for Helping Veterans Access Education Benefits

VATS Award

In late February the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs (MDVA) was awarded the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award. This national award recognizes outstanding programs that support Veterans. The award was presented by VA Secretary Wilkie at the 2020 National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) Mid-Winter Conference. MDVA won for its Veterans Application Tracking System (VATS.) 


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Minnesota selected for ‘Governor’s Challenge’ to eliminate Veteran death by suicide

Minnesota has been selected to participate in the “Governor’s Challenge” to eliminate Veteran death by suicide, a collaborative effort with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). For several years, SAMHSA has partnered with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to bring the “Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families” to states and communities across the nation.


National Women’s History Month 2020 Profile: Kimberly Johnson

Womens History Month

Kimberly Johnson is the MDVA Women Veteran and Gold Star Family Coordinator. Having joined the Minnesota Army National Guard in 2000 and served a tour in Iraq in 2008-2009, she has worked countless hours contributing to our country. With 19 years of experience in the military Human Resources field, Kimberly now works with Gold Star families and women Veterans to ensure they have equitable access to the benefits they are entitled to and are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. 


National Women’s History Month 2020 Profile: Valerie Klitzke


The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to spotlight Valerie Klitzke, the MDVA Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. Valerie is a Veteran; she served for seven years in the Minnesota Army National Guard (MNARNG) and obtained the rank of Captain. She is a combat Veteran and served a 12-month deployment in support of Operation New Dawn. She was the first female officer to be fully integrated into two combat arms units for the MNARNG: 1-194 Combined Arms Battalion (CAB) and 1-94 Cavalry (CAV.)


Your Voice Counts!

Help make sure Veterans in Minnesota are counted in the 2020 Census

Each year, Minnesota communities receive 15 billion dollars from the federal government on the basis of the Census count.

That’s $15,459,175,947!
• $2,796 per Minnesotan per year
• $27,960 per Minnesotan per decade

Programs whose funding is affected by the Census:
• Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Program - $2,850,000
• Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program - $116,436,000
• Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program - $45,000,000
• Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program - $300,000,000

Since the census only happens once a decade, it is important to make sure you're counted!

Legislative Updates


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Minnesota Legislature is on hiatus until April 14, though floor sessions and committee meetings could happen on an on-call basis. This is a rapidly shifting situation. The Legislative Office for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to monitor and provide updates as they occur. Related updates will be posted to the Legislative Affairs main page as they are available, or you can sign up here for email updatesCOVID-19 specific legislative update.

Postponed: Women Veterans Conference

women veterans conferece

We regret to announce the postponement of the Women Veterans Conference. We will provide more information about the new date when available.

All ages, eras, branches, transitioning military women are welcome to this free conference at the YMCA Mounds View Community Center on Saturday, April 4.

The program will also include the presentation of the 2020 Woman Veteran of the Year Award.

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Cancelled: Veterans Day on the Hill

From the DAV of Minnesota:

"The COVID-19 virus has caused disruptions that limit gatherings throughout the state and nation. Current federal and state guidance requires that the scheduled “Veterans Day On The Hill 2020” pre-event lunch, march and capitol rotunda rally will not convene in-person as scheduled on April 20, 2020.

You are strongly encouraged to immediately contact transportation companies you may have made arrangements with to let them know the event has been cancelled."

This year's Veterans Day on the Hill rally will take place Monday, April 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.

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