Friday Digest: July 14

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Friday Digest: July 14, 2023

This week:

Work at MDVA

Fergus Falls





Silver Bay

Minnesota Military Radio - Tune in this Weekend

Minnesota MIlitary Radio

For over 12 years, the award-winning Minnesota Military Radio (MMR) has been the forum for retelling the stories of Minnesota’s heroes. Vietnam Veteran and volunteer host Tom Lyons shares these stories which are carried on 65 broadcasting stations throughout the state of Minnesota in an effort to preserve the stories of our Veterans and keep listeners up to date on things happening at MDVA and in our Veteran Community here in Minnesota.

Coming up this week we get a PACT Act Update from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, learn about Education Benefits from the Minnesota National Guard and meet with the MN Patriot Guard.



More information >>

Armed to Urban Farm, Apply by July 17

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) are offering their popular Veterans’ urban agriculture training in Minneapolis-St. Paul this fall.

Armed to Urban Farm gives military Veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and learn about urban farming as a career. Armed to Urban Farm will include three days of engaging classroom sessions, farm tours and hands-on activities in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Armed to Urban Farm participants will learn about whole-farm planning, farm financial planning, urban crop production, urban soils, marketing and more. Participants will gain a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable urban farming enterprise. In addition, attendees will join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-Veterans and agricultural advisors.

The application deadline to be considered is July 17.


More information >>

PACT ACT VetFest, July 19

The Minneapolis VA invites you to the PACT ACT VetFest Day. Join to learn about the benefits you’ve earned – plus food, music and giveaways!

Resources will be available on site regarding Veterans Benefits Administration, Toxic Exposure Screenings, Minneapolis VA Programs, National Cemetery Administration, Eligibility and much more!


More information >>

MPLS VetFest Day

Northeast Women Veterans Picnic, July 23

NE MN Women Veterans

Picnic in International Falls in Voyageurs National Park with canoe adventure, walking trails, nature talk by park rangers, interpretive center and gift shop.


More information >>

Therapeutic Services for Veterans at Nature’s Edge Therapy Center, July 27

Equine Therapy

Nature's Edge Therapy Center will provide a safe, comfortable space in which Veterans can connect, engage and participate in therapeutic activities utilizing horticulture and farm animals.

  • Thursday, July 27, from 1 - 3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 7, 21, 28 from 1 - 3:30 p.m.

More information >>

Vietnam Era Veterans Wanted for Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam Veterans leaving Vietnam, the
Minnesota National Guard is seeking 300 Vietnam Veterans to participate in a march
during the State Fair's Military Appreciation Day on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. Each
Vietnam Veteran will receive one (1) complimentary ticket for the day.


More information >>

Vietnam Era Veterans Wanted

Mental Health First Aid Training Online

Learn how to support your friends, family, and neighbors. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults.

You’ll build skills and confidence you need to reach out and provide initial support to those who are struggling. You’ll also learn how to help connect them to appropriate support.

  • Thursday, July 27, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


More information >>

Mental Health First Aid Training Flyer

The PACT Act and Your VA Benefits

The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances.

The PACT Act adds to the list of health conditions the VA assumes (or “presumes”) are caused by exposure to these substances. This law helps provide generations of Veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.




More information >>

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line's number—988 then Press 1—helps make it easier to remember and share the number to access help in times of need.

Veterans can use this option by dialing 988 and pressing 1 to contact the Veterans Crisis Line. Veterans may still reach the Veterans Crisis Line with the previous phone number—1-800-273-8255 and Press 1—by text (838255), and through chat at

Post-9/11 Veterans Service Bonus

Minnesota Veterans who served sometime between September 11, 2001, and August 30, 2021 may be eligible for a Post-9/11 Service Bonus. More than 17,000 Minnesota Veterans who served in the Global War on Terrorism have already received bonuses totaling $18.5 million in recognition of their service.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is distributing nearly $25 million in bonuses. As of late November, $18.5 million has been awarded. Eligible Veterans are paid on a first-come, first-served basis, so Veterans should apply today before the funds are gone.

To apply, visit

More information >>

Post 9/11 Service Bonus Flyer

Submit Your Veteran-Related Event

If you know of a Veteran-related community event happening in your area you would like to submit to be included in our Friday Digest, please email all event information to for consideration.