Friday Digest: March 13

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Friday Digest: March 13, 2020

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This Week:

MDVA COVID-19 Update


MDVA is continuing to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as the number of reported cases in Minnesota increase. We are working closely with the Minnesota Departments of Health, Public Safety and others for latest information and guidance.

Our priority is to protect the health and safety of Minnesota Veterans, including the Residents in our five Minnesota Veterans Homes, and our employees. As of 3/12/20, we have no cases of Coronavirus in our Homes.

Please help to stop the spread by:

  • Staying home if you are sick.
  • Washing your hands/using hand sanitizer.
  • Covering your cough and sneezing into your sleeve, disposing of tissues in a waste bin.

We are also updating our continuity of operations plans to ensure that we can continue serving our Veterans throughout this changing situation.

Here are resources for more information:


Federal VA - GI Bill Benefits COVID-19 Update

The VA is disseminating information on COVID-19 Virus Concerns and How It Affects GI Bill Benefits on their Facebook page.

Their 3/12/2020 Facebook post discusses the Corona Virus and its impact on Veterans’ monthly housing allowance.

If you have questions about your specific circumstance, please contact the VA Education Call Center at: 1-888-442-4551 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. EST (7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST), Monday through Friday.

The VA is hosting a Webinar on Thursday, March 19th on how COVID-19 is affecting the GI Bill.

COVID-19 Informational Webinar
When: Thursday, March 19 | 11:00 AM & 1:00PM EST
Audience: SAAs & SCOs

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

2020 MDVA Women Veterans Conference, April 4

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

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

More Information >>

Women Veterans Conference Flyer

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans Events

The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) is hosting the following upcoming events:

2019-2020 WWII Roundtable, Minnesota History Center

For 33 years, the Dr. Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table has been committed to preserving the factual history of World War II. Through the input of historians, first-hand accounts from individuals, and travel, they seek to promote the study of this influential era.

Beginning in 2019, they will meet at the Minnesota History Center at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month from September through May, unless otherwise noted in the schedule.

  • March 24: The Chief of Staff for Eisenhower - Dr Daniel Crosswell, author of "Beetle," will present the contributions of Bedell Smith in guiding the difficult orchestration of the Allied forces to achieve victory in Europe. 

More Information and Full Schedule >>

2019-2020 Vietnam War Roundtable, Concordia University

The Minnesota Military Museum, in partnership with Twin Cities Public Television and Concordia University, St. Paul, present this 2019-20 series held at Concordia University on the 3rd Monday of month (September through May). Parking and admission are free (a small donation to the museum is appreciated). This new series 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.

  • March 16: Due to COVID-19 concerns, the March 16 event has been cancelled.

  • April 20: The Fall of Saigon, 45th Anniversary - Saigon was captured by the North Vietnamese Army on April 30th, 1975 effectively ending the Vietnam War. Marine Corps officer John Murray served as the USMC logistical officer during this event making sure that American evacuation helicopters were operational and overseeing the dumping overboard of escaping Vietnamese helicopters, for which there was no room on American ships. American military and civilian personnel and Vietnamese will discuss their experiences surrounding the fall of Saigon and the aftereffects of the North Vietnamese victory.

All events begin at 7 p.m. at Concordia University's Buetow Auditorium on Hamline Avenue just south of I-94. Signs will be posted.

300 Hamline Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55104

More Information and Full Schedule >>

Forest Lake American Legion Post #225 Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29

The Forest Lake American Legion Post #225 will be hosting a Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony Sunday, March 29.


More Information >>

Vietnam Veterans Day

Veterans Day on the Hill, April 20

Veterans Day on the Hill

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.

More Information >>

Road Work Around MSP Airport, Minneapolis VA Medical Center, and the Minneapolis Veterans Home

Around the Airport

More Information >>

Your Voice Counts!

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

Census Flyer

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

An accurate and complete 2020 Census count is vital to our community and state. Here are some of the most important things to know.

Who gets counted?
Everyone! The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and counts all people who reside in the United States, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

When is the Census?
Starting in March 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will mail letters to every household in the United States inviting all to respond to the Census survey. Every household should receive a letter requesting that they complete a census survey online, by mail, or phone by Census Day on April 1, 2020.

Why do we have a census?
The data collected from the Census is used to make sure everyone is equally represented in our political system, and that government resources are allocated fairly. The Census data determines how many congressional seats a state receives; how much federal funding will be allocated to local communities for public services and infrastructure needs; and provides a picture of the changing demographics of the country.

Get Your REAL ID by Oct. 1

The REAL ID enforcement date is quickly approaching, and Governor Tim Walz wanted to make sure you have all the information to get REAL ID ready. The federal enforcement date is October 1, 2020 – which means that all Minnesota license holders will need a REAL ID or other acceptable form of identification by this date.

That’s why Governor Walz encourages you to apply for REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license NOW to avoid the rush as the deadline approaches.

Governor Walz Video

Every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license, passport or passport card, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the U.S. or enter federal facilities. And right now, there are still 3.7 million Minnesota license holders who may still need a REAL ID.

Below are some frequently asked questions, and you can learn more about how to apply for a REAL ID and stay up-to-date at Share this video and information with your family and friends to help all Minnesotans be REAL ID ready by October 1, 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a REAL ID?

If you or someone you know plans to apply for a REAL ID, start at You can pre-apply online, and that will reduce the time you spend in an office. The pre-application will walk you through exactly what documents you need to bring with you. Applying for a REAL ID requires additional documentation compared to a standard driver’s license, but the cost is the same.

How long will it take to receive my REAL ID?

License and ID card processing times are updated weekly at

Will my Enhanced Driver’s license (EDL) or Enhanced ID Card (EID) work to fly beginning Oct. 1, 2020?

Yes. In addition to indicating lawful driving privileges and being a valid form of identification, EDLs and EIDs can be used for domestic air travel and to access federal facilities now and after Oct. 1, 2020. They are also designated border crossing documents that can be used to re-enter the U.S. by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, and some countries in the Caribbean. Learn more on the DPS-DVS website.

How do I know if my driver’s license or ID card is REAL ID compliant?

A REAL ID is marked with a gold star. An Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced ID is marked with a U.S. flag and is REAL ID compliant. A standard Minnesota driver’s license or ID card is marked “Not for federal identification” and will not be accepted by the TSA to board an aircraft as of Oct. 1, 2020.