Commander’s Year End Wrap up

It does not seem possible for this year to be over, in 5 months we will elect a new Department Commander in Rochester at our Department Convention. Friendly reminder, the dates for Convention are May 3-5. This has been an exciting year and a very educational year. I have done so many things, traveled to States and met folks which would not have been possible without the trust you have placed in me, continue to meet extremely dedicated individuals that are doing so many great things for Veterans. I have had the honor to see how very hard both our Chapter and Units work, firsthand how very dedicated our full-time staff is, as well as our Minnesota Veterans Administration Commissioner and his staff. This opportunity is a once in a life time experience that I wish each of our members and auxiliary could experience. We (as members) have no idea of all the work that goes on in our great State for Veterans and their families. I encourage each of you to get involved as officers in your Chapter and then at the State level; I promise it will be an experience of a life time. Our Foundation, Executive committee are both very active and both a pleasure to work with.

I also want to remind everyone about Veterans Day on the Hill. The date for “Vet’s day on the hill” is March 12th. The Department Legislative Director has sent out the flyer for this event. I encourage each and everyone of you to attend.

Activity December
4th Crookston Chapter 14 Christmas party
6th and 7th computer work
10th Visit sick Veteran
11th Food to Bemidji CBOC
12th Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs to work on grants
12th Willmar for Chapter 34 Christmas party
13th Rogers for Foundation meeting
13th Little Falls Chapter 12 Christmas party
14th Visited with St. Cloud Chapter # 9 Officer
14th St Cloud for Commander Task Force meeting (Legislative agenda for 2018 choose)
15th To cities for full time staff party
16th Grand Rapids Chapter 13 Christmas party
17th Visit sick Veteran
18th Bemidji Chapter 7 Christmas party
21st Minnesota Military Radio (talked about visiting Veterans at Veterans Homes, Hospitals and contract nursing homes as well as families by our chapters/Units)
24th Visit sick Veteran
31st Visit sick Veteran

Throughout the month I have worked with drivers, dispatcher and Veterans families wanting a ride for their loved one on Bemidji van. Worked very close with our outstanding Adjutant, we are so blessed to have him and our other full time staff; I cannot put enough emphases on this. I have talked with many of the Chapter Officers around the State that have had questions. I must also mention how much PDC’s Aguirre, Remus, Valtinson as well as our Executive committee, and full time staff have had my back and assisted at every turn. For the year, I have driven 17,230 miles plus many not counted in this total and at least 114 days working on veteran’s issues, many of which have been away from home, plus many not counted and over 800 hours perhaps more. Will say that I do not regret any of these miles, hours, or days away from home. It has been great to work with other Commanders from our great State.
Opal and I wish each of you and your families a glorious New Year.

Robert Saddoris, State Commander
Disabled American Veterans, Department of Minnesota

Commander’s Update December 2017

Comrades:  From May when you gave me the honor of being your Commander, the time has flown by. Here it is the end of 2017 and over half of the time as Department Commander has elapsed.  May seems like only yesterday, it has been so rewarding to represent you, thank you for making this year special.  I have seen so many of you and looking forward to meeting even more of you before my tour is up!  At this time I am setting up Chapters to go visit this month and next year. There is no question in my mind that we are one of the top DAV organizations in the USA.  Between our Chapters and your Full-time staff, each one is working very hard each day to help us achieve the DAV mission by helping every Veteran or Spouse in every way possible!  I also am very proud of our Chapters and what they have achieved this year by volunteering the countless hours all of you put in helping Veterans throughout our great State.  What some of you may not realize, each of our full time staff also volunteer many hours (without pay) helping Veterans, Chapters, and varies State committees. We now have 23 vans on the road transporting Veterans to appointments in 4 States besides MN. My mentors, our full time staff and many PSC have stepped forward to help on all levels. Our senior vice Rick Jarvis has been doing a great job on membership; each of us knows at least one Veteran we can sign up let’s (get err’ done). Your executive, foundation, and outdoor committees has also been very busy working for us all also this year.

My November follows:

2nd – 4th: to Bemidji to purchase treats for deer hunters, than onto Bagley to present DAV picture to a donor who provided supper for hunt, then to Bemidji to purchase supper for the hunters.  Thank you to Chapter # 7 for providing treats and Supper in Bemidji (hunters bagged 3 Deer). Mr. O’Shea the land owner also provided a wonderful dinner for the hunters.

5th– 6th Computer work ( the Department Adjutant likes to fill my email inbox) J

11th to Inver Grove for Veterans Day Celebration both MN Senators,  3 State Representatives,  as well VA Commissioner and many other present talked with several of them.

12th Computer

13th Commander Task Force (CTF) meeting St Paul if you are not aware of CTF please go to web site it is made up of 8 Veteran organizations State  Commanders I have the honor of being elected Chair of this committee.

28th To Fargo Stanford Hospital to visit State Chaplin Walter James. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

29th DAV State Transportation Committee provided lunch to the DAV/VA Bemidji van volunteer drivers and their wives; guest speakers Adjutant Whitehead and dispatcher Dan Woods.

30th to Fargo for donation of courtesy van to Fargo VA hospital, spearheaded by PDC Remus getting donations from several MN Chapters , DAV MN Foundation and some Chapters in ND.

Over all I traveled 1,826 miles, in November very slow relaxed month, perhaps 110 hours possibly more. As of the end of November, I have traveled 16,164 miles since May, not including trips by air to Commander/Adjutant Orientation in OH, and National Convention in New Orleans.

By the time you read this it may be Christmas thus I wish each and every member and their families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, may God bless each and every one of you.

Robert Saddoris, DAV MN State Commander 2017-2018

Commander’s Report November 2017

My how this month has flown by, it’s great to have a little snow for deer hunting, and I do believe winter has arrived.  My month started :

–        Oct. 2nd by delivering food for Bemidji CBOC (Community Based Outpatient Clinic);

–        3rd  to Detroit Lakes Chapter meeting it was great seeing old friends again and the work with the Chapter;

–        4th to Camp Ripley for deer hunt, again got to network and visit with old friends;

–        5th -7th Fall Conference and Chapter Service Officer training, if you did not attend you missed a good Conference.  Past Department Commander Aguirre also set up a meeting with past Department Commanders as well as Past Auxiliary Commanders that were present, a good meeting.

–        11th -12th in Anoka for the Commander Task Force (CTF) meeting, if you have not gone to this site please do so.  This is the Task Force that works on legislation for all Veterans and helps decide date for Veterans on the Hill. The date for Veterans Day on the Hill is March 12th. Please start planning to attend this yearly event, it helps get the word to our legislators on bills, we have for Veterans and/or their Spouses. Keep up on the CTF monthly.

–        14th to the pheasant hunt in Avon, MN, 30 hunters and 250 plus pheasants taken, European type hunt, it was a treat. Next year if you have not seen such a hunt do apply at the DAV web site. At hunt one new member signed up and met many DAV members that I had not met in the past.

–        15-16th  did computer work for DAV, this is a task that is never completed!

–        18th  to Park Rapids for a Volunteer Drivers party, great to see the drivers and their wives. Trent ( our full time transportation and Legislation Director)was there to give talk. We have over 150 Volunteer Drivers state wide with a total of 23 DAV vans State wide and another 200 drivers that give their hours to the DAV. Vans driven by our volunteers are trained by VA (do not need to be member of DAV or be Veteran to drive).

–        19th to St Cloud for a meeting with the  Hospital Director for VA hospital sharing thoughts and ideas Trent and DAV State Adjutant Butch their also.

–        20th-21st Detroit Lakes 14th District meeting (14th district for DAV is ND, SD, MO and MN) great to network with our district members. Mr. Day, 2nd National Jr Vice was main speaker, also present Montana, Mr. Parsetich 4th Nation Jr Vice, Stephen Whitehead 1st National Jr Vice and Mike Dobmeier Nation Judge Advocate, Chair of the District was National Executive Committeeman from MN Dave Valtinson , to have so many National officers present was a real treat.

–        22-24th  VAVS meeting, Savers and executive meeting all in the Cities;

–        25th meeting with drivers of DAV/VA van from Bemidji to set up schedule for next four months and work on some issue’s drivers faced.

I drove 2,872 miles over 16 days on the road can only guess at hours but if I had to, it would be around140 hours or so would be some were in the ball park. This has been a very enjoyable month. By the time you receive this it will be Thanksgiving, do enjoy your time with your families and friends.  I am very thankful to represent each of you as I go to different meetings and events around state, again thank you for this honor.   May God bless each of you and your families, I am so proud of you and what you do for Veterans or their families.

Robert Saddoris, Commander of DAV of MN

State Commanders August Report:

Returned from New Orleans National Convention, it was a very good Convention with lots of information, you can find lectures on ( web site to get a handle on important information see bottom of this report how to get to web site.

At St Cloud for a Foundation meeting was good, we went through many request for funds, all members present; to St Cloud VA Hospital to visit a member of Chapter 12 who was an inpatient. To Mankato for Chapter Training Session; to Moorhead Subaru Rally set up by Lauri Brooke Becker County CVSO past 1st Jr Vice, she is very active with DAV and Chapter 31, State Chaplin Walter James and Rick Habstritt (one of our Outstanding Volunteer Driver’s) we collected donations for Northwest Transportation Program; to Fergus Falls Chapter 25  to discuss changes in the finance report from National; discussed Fall Conference which will be held in Fergus Falls October 6-7,  to Saint Cloud for Chapter Training Session had a good turnout, it was great training session; talked a few times with Chapter 14 new Commander very impressed with his progress and with Chapter 34 answered questions and gave information new Officers making good progress also. Talked with Chapter 16 Officer; to St Paul for DAV booth at State Fair, the two shifts signed up 9 or 10 new members plus discussed many issues with Veterans that stopped by; to VA Medical Center Saint Cloud for Transportation Committee Meeting, great meeting lots of discussion all members present ready to formulate policy procedure for Executive Committee to review.  Handled several transportation questions from both drivers and Veterans wanting to ride Bemidji van, starting to work on 2018 schedule where Bemidji will run 4 days a week. Very busy month lots of computer time, met many of our great members, anytime I get a chance to meet our members it makes my day, it is such an honor to represent each and every one of you (at one of our meetings a member said, he did not think his thoughts mattered) “all of your thoughts and ideas are important” again we are a team. I drove 2,181 miles and away from home 12 days this month. Signed up three new members, do hope each of you are signing up new members if each of you would just sign up one member which is very possible that would be outstanding! I look forward to seeing you at the Fall Conference in Fergus Falls October 6-7; Chapter Service Officer training on October 5th 1030 hours until completed and the District Fall Conference in Detroit Lakes 21st of October.

May God Bless each and every one of you and your families.
Commander Robert Saddoris

After you have went to   click on donate a large heading will come up colorful dav fulfilling our promises click on this you will come to a screen with several drop downs go to learn drop down to video you will find the information from convention there may be an easer way if so do not know how.

Senior Vice Commander Jarvis Update

Here is a brief overview of activities and assignments your Sr Vice was involved in.
. Attended state convention in Duluth and voted in as 2016-17 Sr Vice Commander.
. Attended Silver Bay lunch and represented Commander Mick.
. Attended and carried DAV flag at state cemetery Memorial Day program.
. Attended and laid wreath at St Cloud VA Medical Center Memorial Day Program.
. Attended OGR in St Joseph (we both got
. Contacted and organized membership
Committee. I believe this will be a strong
and dedicated committee from brief
discussion with members.
. Membership monthly reports issued in a timely manner with reports sent to chapters
Including trial membership and prospect
lists for recruitment assistance.
. Attended executive committee meeting
. Attended Finance committee meeting
. Attended 2 foundation committee meetings . Attended C&A training in Cincinnati . Attended National Convention in N.O.
. Represented DAV at dedication of Veterans
Memorial at Sandstone carrying DAV flag.
Jim Best deserves a personal note from you
for his excellent organizational skills putting
this VERY impressive event on. The event
for the community was well attended and
appreciated by many.

Very busy with chapter. Nearing
completion of training new treasurer. Bike
Run a success and clothing program busy
With my areas of responsibility.

Next 45 days:
. Training at St Cloud
. OGR at Camp Ripley, chapter 12 providing
. Open house at Camp Ripley, contact and
Staffing DAV both for Honoring our
Korean Veterans and educational
Informations on the DAV
. Deer hunt at Camp Ripley, chapter
Support and Department
. Fall conference and Committee

Next quarterly report around December 1.

Respectfully Submitted,
Rick Jarvis
Sr Vice Commander

Commanders Update

Comrades: July 2017 report

This month I attended three parades, went to KY for Adjutant/Commander orientation, Mahnomen to give speech at American Legion Convention, Rogers to attend the DAV Finance Committee meeting, Detroit Lakes for Chapter training, Crookston to install new officers, Duluth Chapter training, Minneapolis to throw out first pitch Twins game you can find link as follows Bemidji to work with Van drivers to set up next three month schedule, Purchased food for CBOC in Bemidji times two. July 28th will leave for New Orleans for National Convention.

Have talked many times with State Adjutant Butch, Assistant Adjutant Josh, Administrative Assistance Gina, PDC Remus and PDC Valtinson, Sr vice Rick Jarvis and many others on what seems like hundreds of issues, and thoughts. One out standing thing about this job you have much support and teamwork every one is willing to help.  I think we are gaining on the Auxiliary and Chapters working closer together as a team as we hold the Chapter meetings please attend the one in your area. Drove 1,857 miles spent 18 ½ days working with DAV items at home or away from home I am truly enjoying this experience and meeting so many of you is really the high light of this job. Once again thank you for the confidence you have shown in me. GOD Bless each of you and your families stay safe!!!

Robert Saddoris, Commander DAV of MN

New Commander Greetings

Dear Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota Members:

Greetings from your State Department Commander, Robert Saddoris. I’m very humbled to be selected as Commander for this outstanding organization. I am very excited about this coming year in being able to work with each of your Chapters. One of my goals is to have the Units and Chapter work closer together as a team. Another is to assure the health and welfare of each Chapter by giving help and advice where needed. One thing that is very important to me is that Chapter’s and Departments both understand we are one huge team sharing the same goal which is to help every Disabled Veteran and/or their spouse lead as productive of a life as possible. As well as other veterans we might be able to help. Remember our job is not finished until all veterans are home and their needs are taken care of.

We have an outstanding team both at the Chapter and Department level to working toward these goals. I thank each of you for your outstanding support when I was your Sr Vice. Chapters have worked hard to recruit new members. At this time we still lead the Nation thanks to each of you. I ask for that same support as your Commander.  God Bless each of you and your families

Robert Saddoris, Commander
DAV Department of Minnesota

Welcome to our New HSC’s!

The Saint Cloud Transportation Coordinator, Stephanie Zeimetz, grew up in central Minnesota graduating from Holdingford High School. She spent 6 years living in Oklahoma Ft. Sill with her family before returning back to the area. During that time she volunteered with the H-26 FA 214th Fires Brigade FRG as Treasurer and received a Presidential Volunteer Award as well as a Molly Pitcher Award in 2012. She has numerous family members currently in the military including her twin brother with the United States Air Force and many family members previously in the military. Stephanie started with DAV in August 2016 after working four years doing medical billing and is grateful to once again work with Veterans. In her spare time she spends time with her three kids (two boys and a girl), is an avid photographer, and enjoys gardening and bowling.

Luke Johnson started working with the DAV in January of 2017. He grew up in Center City, Minnesota and developed a love for the outdoors and spent his summers fishing, camping, hiking and playing baseball. He joined the Army as a medic and spent his time at Fort Lewis, Washington. He now shares his love of the outdoors with his wife Sophia and their two sons Fox and Teddy.

Luke has replaced our long time HSC/DSO Babette Blumenauer, we thank her for her years of dedicated service to the DAV!
Stop in and say Hello to Stephanie & Lukas the next time you are at the VAMC.

Greetings from Commander Aguirre

Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota Members:

Greetings from your State Department Commander, Mick Aguirre. I hope this finds you and your Chapter’s in good health and spirits. With Veteran’s Day, fresh in our mind I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your service to our great Nation and your continued dedication to our Minnesota Veterans and their families.

Since I have taken the official title as Commander, I have been busy representing the DAV at various events and gatherings across the state, highlighting your work and our commitment to the men and women who served. Our membership is growing which shows that our members are out making meaningful connections with the veterans in their communities and getting them connected with our CSO’s, DSO’s, and NSO’s. We have had several successful fundraising events which provide us with the means to fulfill our mission. We appreciate all of the support and volunteer efforts from our Members to make these events possible. I have attached a list for you all to see what I have been up to since I accepted your nomination for Commander.

As we look to the future, I encourage you all to work closely with the Auxillary Unit’s, ensuring their viability and inclusion in our efforts throughout our Minnesota Communities. You have all done so much to improve the lives of our veterans and their families in Minnesota and I am so proud and grateful for all of your self-less efforts. Together we will continue to be a leader in Veterans Affairs in the State of Minnesota.


Fulfilling our Promises,

Mick Aguirre, State Commander
DAV Department of Minnesota

Outreach and Events, I have attended on behalf of the DAV of MN:

  • Groundbreaking of the Silver Bay Band Shelter
  • Old Glory Run 5k in St. Joseph
  • VFW State Convention in Rochester
  • Commanders and Adjutants Training, Cincinnati Ohio
  • Minnesota Lynx Practice Event
  • American Legion State Convention, Rochester
  • DAV of MN Golf Classic Fundraiser, Prior Lake
  • DAV National Convention, Atlanta Georgia
  • Treasure Island Veterans Appreciation Dinner and Ceremony
  • Van Delivery to Detroit Lakes
  • State Fair Military Appreciation Day and DAV Booth
  • Radio Interview with Tom Lyons
  • First Pitch at the Twins Game
  • Nisswa and Williams Narrows meet and greet with veterans
  • CTF Conference Camp Ripley
  • St. Cloud VAMC interviews for new director
  • Women Veterans Conference, Rochester
  • Trap Shoot Fundraiser at Wild Wings, Hugo
  • DAV of MN Fall Golf Tournament, Stillwater
  • Boat Ride for Volunteer Drivers on St. Croix River
  • Camp Ripley Deer Hunt meet and greet with veterans
  • DAV of MN Fall Conference, Willmar
  • Medal of Honor Gala and Ceremony at U.S. Bank Stadium
  • Speaker at Flag Appreciation Day, Marcy Elementary School, Minneapolis

Greetings from Commander Aguirre

I would like to thank the delegates to our annual DAV convention for their support in electing me as DAV State Commander for the year 2016-2017. I look forward to serving the MN DAV organization and its 18,000 members. I would like to congratulate the other Department officers elected, and look forward to working with them on my team. Always keeping in mind that a ” chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” and I plan on pulling hard on that chain to move our organization forward. I must give due credit to my predecessors, for all their hard work and dedication they have shown for our causes. We have many things to be proud of here in Minnesota.

We are currently in 1st place in membership in our division, our transportation program has won national recognition and awards. Our outdoors program is expanding into new areas, like Horseback riding, Canoeing  and many others. This is all due to the recent input from our members which is what we want to strive for. I will be appointing committee  members in the next 30 days, these committees will be key advisors to me and the leadership team. We will be establishing a new committee, MN DAV WOMEN VETERANS COMMITTEE, this committee will be tasked with identifying ways we, MN DAV can better serve and involve our women veterans.

In the area of volunteerism we need to find ways we can involve our youth in our programs. We also need to get our chapter members more involved in  serving our VAMC, veterans homes, nursing homes, and state wide communities. We must build on our chapters success in fund raising through the clothing program. I’ll be expecting  to receive some new ideas about different programs we should be looking into in the future.We have many training and leadership seminars coming up this year. I expect each chapter to send the appropriate amount of chapter members to these events. If there is a monetary concern in doing this please contact me at department. We are always willing to help any chapter.

In closing, I again thank you for the opportunity to lead MN DAV. I promise to serve in the best way I can, ensuring I use the skilled, talented, and passionate members I am surrounded with.

Semper Fi,
Mick Aguirre State Commander