Support our troops this Memorial Day
“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men, and so it must be daily earned and refreshed–else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.” ~ President Dwight Eisenhower
Every year we designate the last day in May as Memorial Day. This great day gives us all an opportunity to put our busy lives on pause in order to reflect on the sacrifices our fellow Americans have made to our freedom. As you take time to thank our veterans, I encourage you to take an extra step this year and offer any support you can to a local veteran organization.
The Minnesota National Guard Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program is working to change the way our soldiers and airmen are reintegrated back to their communities. If you would like to help this cause, you can adopt a unit, connect with service members through cards, cookies or care packages, or assist a local family. Visit their website (www.btyr.org/home) and click on “Make a Difference” to find out more.
The Minnesota VFW’s mission is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts, serve our veterans, the military, and our communities and advocate on behalf of all veterans. If you would like to donate to the Minnesota VFW, visit their website www.vfw.state.mn.us and click on “Donate to the Department of MN VFW Today.”
The American Legion is the nation’s largest veteran service organization. They are committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans. Visit the Minnesota American Legion’s website (www.mnlegion.org) to see how you can help their organization.
The American Ex-Prisoners of War organization is a national organization for American citizens who were captured because of their American citizenship. Membership is open to all former prisoners of war, all former civilian internees and to their families. Visit their website at http://www.axpow.org/ for more information.
Our veterans and their families deserve all of the praise we can give them, but they also need the support provided by these great organizations. Please offer any help you can so they can continue to serve the heroes that have bravely served our country.
Every session the Legislature looks at ways to support Minnesota’s veterans and their families. This year’s initiatives were specially focused on helping new veterans find work, as they are one of the fastest growing groups of unemployed Minnesotans. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs website (http://www.mdva.state.mn.us/) contains information on those changes and much more information for veterans and their families.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions about any issue. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.