Minnesota Veteran - February

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Desk of the Commissioner - February

Commissioner Herke new

Legislative Session Abuzz with Activity

The Minnesota Legislature has been in session for more than a month now, and the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) has been active at the State Capitol. Our Legislative Director Ben Johnson and Legislative Liaison Cole Trace coordinate our efforts to connect with our Legislators, advocating for funding and legislation that will support Minnesota’s 300,000 Veterans. Several of the MDVA leadership team and I have testified to both Senate and House committees.

Like all State agencies, MDVA works with the Governor’s Office before the Legislative session begins to identify our needs and budget requests. MDVA was included in the Walz-Flanagan “One Minnesota Budget” under the “Protecting Health and Safety” category.


Black History Month


The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) proudly recognizes February as Black History Month as proclaimed by Governor Tim Walz. This month celebrates the abundant cultural diversity and achievements that contribute to the vibrancy and prosperity of Minnesota. It is also a time to reflect on our past and its impact on today, and to reaffirm our commitment to equitable solutions for all our communities.


Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange 2023

Norwegian Exchange

This year marks the 50th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX) program between the Norwegian Home Guard and the Minnesota Army National Guard. 

Norwegian Home Guard leadership, accompanied by their Minnesota Army National Guard counterparts, visited the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery – Little Falls on February 5, 2023.

The visit has become an annual occurrence for those participating in NOREX and focused on the Veterans Art Monument, a five painting tribute to the military branches of the United States that adorns the cemetery’s Committal Hall. In addition to the senior military personnel attending the tour, Anniken Krutnes, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States, honored the group with her presence.

Full Coverage on Norway >>

Minnesota Senate Confirms Commissioner Herke

CH Confirmation

Congratulations to our own MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke as he was recently confirmed by the Minnesota Senate as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. Herke has led our agency as Commissioner since Governor Tim Walz appointed him in January 2019.

“I am honored to continue serving Minnesota’s 300,000 Veterans as MDVA Commissioner,” Herke said. “I am dedicated to ensuring that our Veterans and their families receive the benefits they have earned and services and support they deserve.”


Bellefeuille Named New MDVA Senior Administrative Officer

In early February, MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke announced that Dave Bellefeuille had been selected as the new MDVA Senior Administrative Officer (SAO). Dave replaces former SAO John Dorin who left the agency in December 2022.

As SAO, Dave supports the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners in the overall administration of the agency. He provides leadership to agency-wide administrative functions including Communications, Finance, Human Resources, General Counsel, Legislative Affairs, Property, Construction, Continuity of Operations (COOP), and Safety, Strategic Planning, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Internal Controls/Audit.


Dave b

Stakeholder Meetings Held in New Veterans Homes Communities

Homes visit

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) kicked off 2023 by hosting stakeholder meetings in our three future Homes’ communities. Engaged citizens of Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston, many of whom have spent more than a decade advocating for a Veterans Home in their area of the state, met their new Home Administrators and were updated on recruiting and staffing efforts. Guests also toured the projects’ construction sites. New Homes information is available here

Bemidji Visit Photos >>

Montevideo Visit Photos >>

Preston Visit Photos >>

Five Years Running, Veterans Homes Receive Pinnacle Customer Experience Awards


For the fifth year in a row, the Minnesota Veterans Homes have received Pinnacle Quality Insight’s Customer Experience Award in the Skilled Nursing Facility category. The skilled facilities are located in Fergus Falls, Luverne, Minneapolis and Silver Bay.

Pinnacle Quality Insight is a customer satisfaction measurement firm with 26 years of experience in post-acute healthcare. Pinnacle conducts over 150,000 phone surveys each year and works with more than 2,700 care providers in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Only those providers that are in the 85th percentile or higher receive this recognition.


MDVA is Hiring

mdva is hiring

Interested in serving Veterans? Looking to make a difference in your community? Consider a career with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs! Roles in healthcare, nursing, facilities management and program management are featured below.

We proudly offer competitive pay, generous benefits as a State of MN employee, welcoming and supportive teams, and most importantly, meaningful careers.

To see full job posting and apply:
1. Go to https://mn.gov/mmb/careers/ and select your applicant type: External Applicants or Current Employees or Accessible Applicant Portal.
2. On the Careers landing page, enter the Job ID in the Search Jobs field. Click on the posting.
3. Select “Apply for Job” button. New users will need to create an applicant account to apply.