Friday Digest: Sept. 15

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Friday Digest: Sept. 15, 2023

This week:

Work at MDVA






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 discuss Suicide Prevention and Community Engagement with the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, learn about the Minnesota National Guard's Integrated Primary Prevention Workforce and get an update from our Senior Enlisted Leader.


More information >>

Minnesota Heroes Day at the State Capitol, Sept. 16

Medal of Honor Memorial

Tour the magnificently restored Capitol Building and honor Minnesota's military Veterans, public safety officers and citizens who over the history of our State sacrificed their very lives while saving others and securing and preserving our freedoms and way of life.

Tours of the Capitol building run on the hour for 45 minutes with the last tour starting at 2 p.m. Tours will begin from both the Medal of Honor Memorial at the south side of the Capitol mall, and in the Capitol Rotunda.


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Job Fair and Yellow Ribbon Ribfest, Sept. 16

Over 30 companies that are currently hiring will be on hand Saturday, Sept. 16, for a Job Fair at the National Guard Readiness Center in Arden Hills from 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Following the Job Fair will be the Yellow Ribbon Ribfest from 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. This event will feature live music, a rib tasting competition and more.


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RIbfest Schedule

Groundbreaking for the New Minnesota Military & Veterans Museum , Sept. 17

Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum Groundbreaking

Minnesotans are mobilizing to build a world-class Military and Veterans Museum at Camp Ripley. Many will gather to celebrate this major milestone.

The groundbreaking is planned for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17 at the future site of the new facility across from the Veterans Cemetery (at the Intersection of Haven Road & HWY 115) just off Highway 371.

**Attendees are encouraged to bring along their own camping or lawn chair for on-site seating.**

This dedication coincides with Camp Ripley's Open House (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

Construction of this 40,000 square foot Camp Ripley facility will begin in earnest in the spring of 2024 with completion expected in late 2025 and a grand opening in early 2026.

Minneapolis VA: Wisconsin Area CBOCs Virtual Town Hall for Veterans and Caregivers, Sept. 18

Hayward, Rice Lake and Chippewa Falls VA Community Clinics Virtual Town Hall with Minneapolis VA Health Care System Director, Patrick Kelly, and Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Assistant Director Jessica Gillette, on Monday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m.

Director Kelly will provide a brief update on operating status followed by a Q&A session.

Veterans and families are invited to attend virtually via Microsoft Teams (video and audio) or by telephone (audio only).

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device Click here to join the meeting
Download Teams | Join on the web. Or call in (audio only) +1 872-701-0185, 467270895# Phone Conference ID: 467 270 895#

All callers will be muted. Please click the unmute button on your screen and on your headset if you wish to speak. If you dialed in, press *6 to unmute your phone.

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 Sept. 11, 2001 and Oct. 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

Minnesota Veteran Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day, Oct. 7

Event Flyer

Join the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs for Minnesota Veteran Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day.

This event brings communities together to honor Veterans we have lost to suicide, allow their lives to help save others, and offer healing and hope to survivors.

Our goals are to increase awareness and provide resources to communities as we
strive toward zero Veteran suicide deaths in Minnesota.


More information >>

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 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.




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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

Post 9/11 Service Bonus Flyer

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 $39.8 million in bonuses. As of late August, $20.9 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 >>

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.