e so ta Depar Minnesota Veteran tm n Min ent rs of Ve ai te f rans Af Volume 5, Issue 9 September 2011 In this Issue • From the White House to From the White House to Rural MN Rural MN Leah Vinkemeier • From the Desk of the MDVA Commissioner • The 1968 Huey Minnesota National Guard Veteran, tional Headquarters White House • Home Depot Grant Thomas Newman had the experience officials requested to meet with rural • Minnesota Military Hour of a lifetime on Aug. 15. Newman Veterans during the President’s up- Live From the Fair was one of five Minnesota post 9/11 coming three-day tour to the Midwest. • Veteran-on-the-Street Veterans hand-selected to meet with The topic of discussion was to be • Gold Star Mothers/Families President Barack Obama to discuss post-deployment Veteran employment Day post-deployment challenges. and transitional challenges. Newman • Into the Heart of America: A gladly accepted the invitation. Soldier’s Story In August, Newman, an Iraq Veteran, • National POW/MIA now working as a Specifics about who Recognition Day Department Service Newman looked at the he and the other Officer with the • Honoring Minnesota American Legion, empty chair directly across Veteranswith were meeting would be Women in Vietnam • Upcoming Events was experiencing from him and thought, ‘this not released; they a week when Mur- is going to be the President.’ were simply told they We Want to Hear From You! phy’s law seemed to would be meeting prevail. This partic- with a senior White If you have story ideas, events, ular week brought car troubles as well House Official. The five Veterans ar- to nominate a Veteran in the as frustration as Newman witnessed rived at the designated area that day, Spotlight or just have infor- numerous, fully-qualified Veterans at- anxious to see who it was they would mation for MDVA’s Minnesota tending job fairs in search of employ- be meeting with. Veteran newsletter, contact ment. Beth Kocian at They were met by a White House of- Beth.Kocian@state.mn.us or As his week drew to an end, Newman ficial who briefed them on what to do (651) 757-1550. received an unexpected phone call next. Their instructions: take off your informing him that the White House jackets, follow me, and try to look contacted the American Legion Na- Story continued on page 6 Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) 20 West 12th Street, St. Paul, MN 55155-2071 Phone (651) 296-2562 • Fax (651) 296-3154 • website www.mdva.state.mn.us Volume 5, Issue 9 2 From the Desk of the Commissioner This September will mark the 10th anniversary of the infamous attacks of September 11, 2001. Sociologists refer to such events as ‘significant emotion events’, events where one remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing. Where were you when . . .? What we often hear now is how our nation has changed since. Minnesota has deployed its sons and daughters all across the world. Their performance has been most remarkable. Who would have thought, ten years ago, that our National Guard’s 1st Brigade (Red Bulls) would be the longest deployed Brigade in combat? Commissioner Larry Shellito Also noteworthy, has been the role the Veterans Service Organiza- tions (VSOs) have played. VSOs were at the forefront in stepping forward to insure our service members were supported on the home front. The local posts insured our troops received the proper ‘send-off ’ and ‘welcome home’. Veterans, as well as the communi- ties, stepped forward to ‘take care of the families!’ For all your caring and support I, for one, am eternally grateful. So as we pause to remember the events of 9/11, let us also remember all of the acts of caring we gave and have experienced. We are a better nation because of our united focus on supporting our troops, our Veterans and our families. To all Veterans . . . Thank You for your Service!! Larry W. Shellito, Commissioner Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Volume 5, Issue 9 3 1968 Huey: Sounds of Hope, Exhibit of Healing Leah Vinkemeier MDVA The Minnesota History Center will feature a from the Minnesota History Center, describes “1968 Exhibit” that is set to debut Oct. 14. the project as a “labor of love” for Veterans. Some of the Veteran volunteers were pilots, some A monumental year in history, the 1968 Exhibit mechanics, and others rode in the Huey, but all seeks to inspire stories of the era. Organized had unique stories and reasons for taking on this chronologically, each month will be represented project. by a defining event that took place within that month. Museums including: The Chicago History Bill Coughlin was approached by his friend, Gary Museum, Atlanta History Center, The Oakland Chapman, who introduced him to the Huey Museum of California and The Minnesota His- project. Coughlin served as an infantry man in tory Center, have Vietnam from 1970- provided a variety 1971, where he rode of artifacts for the in a Huey conduct- exhibit, but the sto- ing combat assault ries are about the missions. Each mis- people who lived sion lasted 16 days through it. This is a and for the most unique exhibit that part, despite his fear will inspire first- of heights, the lack hand accounts of of side doors and the events of 1968. the fact their legs dangled over the This exhibit fea- edge, riding in the tures a 1968 Bell Huey was “not that UHI “Huey” Heli- bad.” copter, the quintes- The 1968 Huey sential icon of the Vietnam War. The Huey was “The only bad part of the deal was when they purchased from a company in Minnesota that came into the landing zone. The door gun would refurbishes helicopters. This particular helicopter open up and start firing. You didn’t know if he was used for its parts. One challenge that came was shooting at something, or if he was just with featuring an actual helicopter in a traveling shooting because you were the first helicopter exhibit is how to easily transport it. This model coming in. We never knew until we got on the was constructed with the ability to be disassem- ground,” said Coughlin. bled into pieces that will fit through a standard doorway. Tom Hunter, another member of the volunteer team and a Vietnam Veteran reflected on his A team of 25 Veterans of all eras volunteered experience. their time over the past eight months to refurbish the Huey. Jay Erickson, the Exhibit Technician “This has been a full circle for me, starting back Story continued on page 5 Volume 5, Issue 9 4 DISABILITY ORGANIZATION RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION St. Paul MN August 8, 2011 – Through its Community Impact Grants Program, The Home Depot® Foundation has awarded $5000 to the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL). The donation will be used to build ramps for Veterans with disabilities. “MCIL is very grateful for the support and generous contribution from The Home Depot Foundation for our Veterans Building Ramps for Veterans Program. We welcome their partnership as we continue our efforts to provide meaningful support and assistance to people with disabilities. This grant will enable Veterans to lead more independent and self-directed lives.” said David Hancox, Executive Director, MCIL. The Home Depot Foundation’s Community Impact Grants Program supports the work that local nonprofit organizations, public schools and other community organizations are doing to improve the physical health of their neighborhoods. “We are delighted to support local volunteer projects aimed at ensuring that every U.S. Veteran has a safe and accessible home,” said Kelly Caffarelli, president, The Home Depot Foundation. The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living deserves enormous credit for the work it is doing, and we are glad to be part of their efforts.” About The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living MCIL is one of eight Centers for Independent Living in Minnesota and over 500 nationally that work with people with disabilities in fulfilling their desire to lead productive self-determined lives in the community. Last year, 34,000 individuals were served by MCIL, across all programs in 2010. All of the services provided by MCIL are designed to prevent more costly out-of-home placements, which enable people with disabilities to live participatory lives in their neighborhoods and communities. About The Home Depot Foundation In 2011, The Home Depot Foundation committed $30 million over three years to nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the homes of economically disadvantaged Veterans. Through Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer program, thousands of Home Depot associates volunteer their time and talents to positively transform neighborhoods and perform basic repairs and modifications to homes and to the facilities serving Veterans with critical housing needs. Since its formation in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $270 million to nonprofit organizations improving homes and lives in local communities. To learn more and see our associates in action, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org, follow us on Twitter @homedepotfdn, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/homedepotfoundation. Volume 5, Issue 9 5 1968 Huey story continued in 1967 and flying it, and then my experience bringing the first one here [to Minnesota] in ’72, and now here we are in 2011, actually having the opportunity to assemble one for display purposes for this exhibit, he said.” This is a one-of-a-kind exhibit. Erickson ex- plained. “What we’re hoping for this helicopter here is for guys who have some helicopter experience and were a part of Vietnam to come up to it and touch it and tell their grand kids, ‘I rode right there’ or ‘I was wounded and they threw me in there’ or ‘they dropped me off.’ Veteran Volunteers Vietnam Veteran and team volunteer, Darryl LeMire, worked as a mechanic on the Huey and shared a little bit about the exhibit with his fam- about joining the military some day. ily by having his grandson, William, accompany “People will come to appreciate the fact as to him the day the Veterans assembled the Huey. what a change the year 1968 was, and I think this Nine-year-old William explained that he thought exhibit will draw out the dynamics of that year the Huey was very interesting. He enjoyed work- and how it affected an awful lot of U.S. citizens in ing with the “old” Veterans, and even talked many different ways,” Hunter said. “Everybody is going to take a little something away from it dif- ferently.” Vietnam Veteran and a member of the volunteer team, Jerry Chapman reflected on the exhibit and the impact it may have on people. “We have mixed feelings on it. We’ve got the Huey and it represents our era. It could be a little differ- ent, especially with some of the other things in the exhibit. It’s geared more toward the events that happened in 1968, not just the war.” Erickson has heard many stories of guys saying the Huey was always a sound of hope for them. He now hopes this exhibit will bridge the gap of the years and be a time of healing for Vietnam Veterans. Veterans work on assembling the Huey Volume 5, Issue 9 6 continued from cover inconspicuous. The official led the Veterans a Initially Newman thought this might be an event few blocks through Cannon Falls and arrived at to use the Veterans as a sounding board or to an area marked off with tape. Before they knew walk them through an elaborate plan. The Presi- it, they were through the crowd, under the tape dent, however, gave a brief overview of some and lead into the Old Market Deli. The officials initiatives, such as tax credits to employers who were very particular about the lunch protocol hire Veterans, “reverse boot camp” for reintegra- and they were even given seating assignments. tion training, and a project of the First Lady’s As they took their seats, Newman looked at that connects military families with supportive the empty chair directly across from him and services. This gave the President the opportunity thought, ‘this is going to be the President.’ to see how his initiatives are being carried out on Newman looked over his shoulder and watched the ground. as a large bus pulled up to the door. The bus doors “As a Veteran advocate, it’s an opened, and Secret Service absolute honor to be able to filed out, followed by Presi- have a discussion like that with dent Obama. the President,” said Newman. After the Veterans’ initial Newman, working with the introduction to President American Legion, has the op- Obama, he continued to portunity to hear about propos- shake hands with everyone als made at the national level, in the deli. but he also has the opportunity to observe these proposals at a The conversation with state level and witness whether the President was an open or not those initiatives are work- discussion. The President ing. shared some of his ideas Tom Newman, Army National He hopes that having this oppor- to assist Veterans in post- Guard Veteran tunity to interface with a majority deployment employment searching, and listened to the of Minnesota Veterans, gather Veterans to learn specifically what Minnesota information, and relaying that information to Veterans are experiencing. the national government will encourage a faster response in making the necessary adjustments. As Newman’s opportunity to share with the President approached, he knew did not want to Newman said, “It was just as meaningful to meet use the time to talk about his issues, but rather the President as it was to be there with fellow discuss what would best represent the majority Veterans.” of issues Veterans in Minnesota face. The issues “I found it to be a good, meaningful dialog with he addressed were employment for Veterans of the President. He was giving us his time, and all eras, reintegration for Veterans, in addition to I felt important. From my perspective it was National Guard members, and medical benefits great.” for combat Veterans. Volume 5, Issue 9 7 The Minnesota Military Radio Hour Live From the State Fair The Minnesota Military Radio Hour recorded a show from the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 25, with Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito as the co- host. Special guests on the show from MDVA in- cluded Shelley Kendrick, Minnesota Veterans Home - Minneapolis Administrator, and Barb O’Reilly, Director of Women Veteran and Employment Initiatives. Gina Sobania, Military Education Director from the Office of the Chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities was also a guest on the show. Listen to the podcast at http://minnesotamilitaryradiohour.com Top: Show host Tom Lyons and Commissioner Shellito Bottom: News Talk AM 1130 at the State Fair Volume 5, Issue 9 8 Veteran-on-the-Street:“Women Veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veteran population. How would you like to see VA benefits improve for women, or what benefit do you consider most important for women?” “I think it is awesome that the VA can provide menopause management, cancer screenings, and maternity care. All these services are necessary for women veter- ans, and it is great that the VA can provide them.” -Spc. Kayla Lindstrom, MN Army National Guard. “The VA provides good and comprehensive care for women Veterans. Unfortunately, a small percentage of Women Veterans utilize the VA. The VA’s challenge is ease of access and making women feel comfortable going to the VA. This includes an understanding of the barriers that may prevent women from taking advantage of the resource.” --Barb O’Reilly, Army National Guard Veteran “I would consider the gender-health specific benefits the most important ben- efits that women receive; however, I don’t see a reason or need to improve ben- efits for women unless they’re improving benefits for men as well.” --Pvt. Jasmine Weisenburger Gold Star Mothers and Families Day - Sept. 25 The last Sunday in September is reserved to honor the mothers who have lost children in service to the United States. Gold Star Mothers have given so much, and continue to give back to the commu- nity through voluntary acts. Minnesota is host to an official Gold Star Mothers Chapter. The chapter also serves mothers in North and South Dakota. Learn more about the Minnesota Gold Star Mothers at www.goldstarmoms.com. Find the Minnesota Chapter page under the “Depts & Chapter” menu. Volume 5, Issue 9 9 Into the Heart of America: A Soldier’s Story Emelia Orke MDVA Three young actors and a female Veteran are Grayhm, Matt Dallas, and Charlie Bewley. Eliza- making their way across the United States in an beth Cook is the Associate Producer for Thun- effort to learn about real, everyday Veterans for der Road. Cook is a Disabled US Army Veteran an upcoming Hollywood film. who is making the trek with Grayhm, Dallas, and Bewley. They will be traveling for a total of 8-10 weeks to meet with soldiers and their families who have “I received an email a couple months ago from recently returned home to the U.S. from active Elizabeth,” said Gatz. “It was interesting. I agreed duty abroad, and one of their final stops will be to have them come here because of how percep- Granite Falls, Minn. the weekend of Sept. 3. tive these men were of the issues Veterans face. They really want to get the story of The movie is “Thunder Road” Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and will be about the lives of three right.” Veterans of the war in Afghanistan. This film will focus on these Vet- One of the Minnesota Veterans being erans’ lives before the war, during interviewed is battling cancer, which active service, and their struggles she was diagnosed with during her to re-enter society upon returning service. . home. Cook, Grayhm, Dallas, and Bewley Yellow Medicine County Veterans will be doing more than just interviews Services Officer and Veteran Mi- during their time in Minnesota. Gatz chelle Gatz, has been the primary intends to show them the Ray Fagen resource in Minnesota who has World War ll Memorial. She also plans helped set up the interviews with on having a dinner and public gathering five local Veterans. Saturday night to allow Astoria Entertainment to talk to people about their project. “It’s not just another action movie,” said Gatz. “It is really going to portray what Veterans go This research project is called “Into the Heart of through, from basic training to first duty station America: A Soldier’s Story.” Grayhm said after the to deployment and then back again to the read- release of Thunder Road, much of the inter- justment period. view material gained through this project will be included in a “behind the scenes” disk, available The movie is being produced by Astoria Enter- after the film’s release on DVD. tainment, which was founded by actors Steve To request alternative formats of this information, please contact MDVA at (612) 548-5961 or email@example.com or through the Minnesota Relay Service at 1 (800) 627-3529. Volume 5, Issue 9 10 Volume 5, Issue 9 11 M I N N E S O TA H I S T O R I C A L S O C I E T Y P R E S S N E W T I T L E • W W W. M H S P R E S S . O R G SISTERHOOD OF WAR Minnesota Women in Vietnam KIM HEIKKILA Fifteen Minnesota nurses spent a year caring for the casualties of a divisive war, only to come home and descend into isolated silence. To heal themselves, they banded togeth- er as veterans. In January 1966, navy nurse Lieutenant Kay Bauer stepped off a Pan Am airliner into the stifling heat of Saigon and was issued a camouflage uniform, boots, and a rifle. “What am I supposed to do with this?” she said of the weapon. “I’m a nurse.” Bauer was one of approximately six thousand military nurses who served in Vietnam. Historian Kim Heikkila here delves into the experiences of fifteen nurse veterans from Minnesota, exploring what drove them to enlist, what happened to them in-country, and how the war changed their lives. Like Bauer, these women saw themselves as nurses first and foremost: their job was to heal rather than to kill. After the war, however, the very professional selflessness that had made them such committed military nurses also made it more difficult for them to address their own needs as veterans. Reaching out to each other, they began healing from the wounds of war, and they turned their energies to a new purpose: this group of AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER Minnesotans launched the campaign to build the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. In the WOMEN S STUDIES/ MINNESOTA HISTORY, 232 PAGES, 6 X9, 20 B&W PHOTOS NOTES, INDEX, , process, a collection of individuals became a tight-knit group of veterans who share the $19.95, PAPER, ISBN: 978-0-87351-637-2 bonds of a sisterhood forged in war. E-BOOK, $15.99, ISBN: 978-0-87351-839-0 Kim Heikkila is an adjunct instructor in the history department at St. Catherine BOOKSTORES & RESELLERS University, where she teaches courses on U.S. history, U.S. women’s history, the MHS Press titles are available direct from the publisher or from wholesalers. Contact us for discount schedule and terms (800- Vietnam War, and the 1960s. 647-7827 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Canadian resellers should contact Scholarly Book Services at 800-847-9736. Book launch and book signing sponsored by the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Center ALSO OF INTEREST for Women and Alumnae Relations at St. Catherine University Reaching Past the Wire: A Nurse at Abu Ghraib Deanna Germain, Lt. Col., USAR (Ret.) Navy nurse veterans Kay Bauer (a St. Kate's alum) and Mary O'Brien Tyrrell, two of the with Connie Lounsbury women profiled in the book, will speak and be in attendance with author Kim Heikkila. CLOTH, $24.95, ISBN: 978-0-87351-606-8 E-BOOK, $19.99, ISBN: 978-0-87351-692-1 Wednesday, September 28, 2011 Food Will Win the War: Minnesota’s Crops, Cooks, Reception: 7-8:30 p.m. and Conservation during World War I Derham Hall, Fourth Floor, Room 409 Rae Katherine Eighmey St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Avenue St. Paul, MN 55105 PAPER, $19.95, ISBN: 978-0-87351-718-8 Event is free and open to the public, books will be available for sale at the event. E-BOOK, $15.99, ISBN: 978-0-87351-797-3 Order online at www.mhspress.org MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESS CODE TITLE QUANTITY PRICE TOTAL c/o Chicago Distribution Center 637-2 Sisterhood of War $19.95 $ 11030 South Langley Ave. Chicago, IL 60628-3830 606-8 Reaching Past the Wire $24.95 $ phone: 800-621-2736; fax: 800-621-8476 718-8 Food Will Win the War $19.95 $ Subtotal $ _______ Name 10% discount (MHS members) $ _______ Address State, county, or city sales tax* $ _______ City State Zip Shipping ($5.00 + $1.00 per additional book) $ _______ Phone TOTAL ENCLOSED $ _______ Check enclosed __ VISA __ MC __ AmEx __ Discover __ Credit Card # Exp. Date *Minnesota residents, 6.875%; Hennepin County residents, 7.275%; Minneapolis res- idents, 7.775%; St. Paul residents, 7.625%; Anoka, Dakota, and Washington county Signature residents, 7.125%; Illinois residents, 10.25%. Volume 5, Issue 9 12 Tee it Up For the Troops Golf Weekend - Sept. 9-11 Golfers are invited to play golf and help acknowledge and honor the sacrifice of all military Veterans and their families. Soldiers and Veterans golf free. Immediate family members re- ceive 50 percent off. Tee times and military ID required. For more details and to view partici- pating golf courses visit http://teeitupforthetroops.org/states/minnesota. VA 5K Fun Run/Walk/Roll - Sept. 10 A 5K Fun Run/Walk/Roll for all Veterans, VA staff, family members, and the general public. For more details visit http://www.minneapolis.va.gov/pressreleases/Minneapolis_VA_5K_2011.asp. Camp Ripley Biennial Open House - Sept. 18 A ceremony to welcome home Vietnam Veterans. Events include: car show, welcome home ceremony, vendors, tank display, food and beverages. For more information contact Camp Ripley staff at (320)-632-7296 or click on this link goo.gl/yg6aZ. Career and Job Fair - Sept. 19 Congressman John Kline is hosting a career and job fair on Monday Sept. 19, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Eagan Community Center. For more information and registration instructions please visit http://kline.house.gov/. MACV 4th Annual Benefit Event - Sept. 23 The 4th Annual Benefit Event will be held Friday Sept. 23 at the 934th Fort Snelling Of- MACV 4th An ABOUT US Minnesota Assistance organization Council for Veterans (MACV) is a Bene t Even nual that has been 501 (c)(3) nonpro 5,500 veterans assisting veterans t and their families. for over 19 years, this state, or It is estimated helping over ficers’ Club. Silent auction and reception start at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and live music close to 4,100, that 1% of the year. MACV will experience veterans in is there to assist. an episode of t homelessness this Serving those Exterior View: who served Fort Snelling O cers’ Club us rst. starting at 4:30 p.m. Call (651) 291-8756 or visit Friday, Septemb er 934th Fort Snelling23, 2011 6:00 pm Silent O cers’ Club Join Us at the 4th Annual Bene t Event http://www.mac-v.org/fundraiser2011.html to reserve a seat. Auction & Receptio Serving those 7:30 pm Dinner n who served Followed by us rst. from the Tom Live Music Hipps Trio Tables: $650 Call 651.291 Tables include .8756 seating for 8 www.mac-v.org/f or visit and Table Sponsor Individual Tickets: sign to reserve your undraiser2011.html $50 seat today! For more informat if you would ion about this like to purchase event or please call 651.291.8 tables or tickets www.mac-v.org/fu 756 or visit to reserve your ndraiser2011.html seat today! MACV is a nonpro t that provides event you are assistance to helping us raise Minnesota veterans Women Veterans Event - Sept. 27 funds to support and their families. Learn more our work with By attending about MACV veterans in need. this at www.mac-v.org There will be a Women Veterans health and wellness event at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System on Sept. 27. For more information visit http://www.stcloud.va.gov/. Women Veterans Summit - Oct. 29 MDVA will host a Women Veterans Summit, more information to follow. Save the date on your calen- dars! For a complete listing of events across the state of Minnesota, visit http://calendar.mdva.state.mn.us.
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