Friday Digest: Aug. 25

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Friday Digest: Aug. 25, 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 talk about the history of Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair with the Minnesota National Guard, learn about employer outreach with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, discuss Veterans Benefits with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and get an update from the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Service Officers.


More information >>

Gateway Meadows Equine-Assisted Services Grand Opening, Aug. 26

Gateway Meadows Equine-Assisted Services will be having their grand opening Aug. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. in Dayton, MN.

Learn about their holistic programs for Veterans and their families, see where participants enjoy camaraderie and enjoy the healing power of horses and nature.


More information >>

Equine Therapy Grand Opening

Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair, Tuesday Aug. 29

Sate Fair Logo

Tuesday, Aug. 29, is Military Appreciation Day at the Great Minnesota Get-Together!

The Opening Ceremony for the day's events kicks off at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell at 10 a.m. This year's theme is "Honoring Vietnam Veterans." The event includes flag raising ceremony and flyover, followed by a concert from the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bull" Band.

Discounted admission prices at the entrance gates for active military, their spouses and kids; retired military and their spouses; and military Veterans and their spouses. Discounted prices with valid documentation of service are:

  • $13 for adults (13-64)
  • $13 for seniors (65+)
  • $13 for kids (5-12)


More information >>

Next PACT Act Deadline: Sept. 30 Special Enrollment Period

Between now and Sept. 30, 2023, Veterans who deployed to a combat zone, never enrolled in VA health care, and left active duty between September 11, 2001 and October 1, 2013 are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care – without first applying for VA benefits. Veterans can apply online or in person at their local VA facility until 11:59 p.m. local time on Sept. 30, 2023.

  • Are you a Veteran who deployed to a combat zone but never signed up for VA health care? If you left active duty between 9/11/01 and 10/1/13, you should apply today. 
  • There’s a special enrollment period right now that gives you a chance to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits.
  • VA is the best, most affordable health care in America for Veterans – and this is your chance to sign up.
  • Even if you don’t need this care today, you might need it tomorrow, or the next day, or 30 years from now. And once you’re in, you have access for life. 
  • Don’t miss this opportunity — the deadline is Sept. 30. Get the care you deserve today at

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

Therapeutic Services for Veterans at Nature’s Edge Therapy Center, Sept. 7

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, Sept. 7, 21, 28 from 1 - 3:30 p.m.

More information >>

MN Twins Armed Forces Appreciation Day, Sept. 10

Twins Flyer

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam Veterans leaving Vietnam, the Minnesota National Guard is seeking 50 Vietnam Veterans to participate in an on-field recognition event during the Minnesota Twins Armed Forces Appreciation Day on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.

Each Vietnam Veteran will receive two complimentary tickets for the Twins game. Additional tickets are at the participant's expense.


More information >>

Silver Bay Career Fair, Sept. 14

Stop at the Silver Bay Veterans Home career fair on Thursday, September 14 to learn why it’s so great to work for the State!

Visit us between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Hiring managers and HR specialists will be onsite at the Veterans Home to answer your questions about employment opportunities, explain our generous State of Minnesota benefits and accept applications.


More information >>

Silver Bay Career Fair

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.