Minnesota Military Museum

The Minnesota Military Museum’s Veterans Registry is a little over a year old and as of today has only 200 Veterans  or  family members of veterans who have taken the time to record their military story.

The Veterans Registry was established to help preserve Minnesota Veterans Stories as told in their own words or the words of their family and friends.

The Registry is a way for Veterans to document and share their military story with family and friends and preserve a record of their service.

Please do two things when you finish reading this message.

1.  Go to  http://www.mnmilitarymuseum.org/veterans/registry/ to record your personal story.

2.  Do everything in your power to help promote this FREE service for Minnesota Veterans.

Thank You,
Jeff Thielen,Executive Director
Military Historical Society of Minnesota/MN Military Museum

Cost of Living Adjustment 

If you or someone you know is in receipt of benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you may see an increase in benefits in 2017. A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) has been made to these benefits to ensure the purchasing power is not eroded by inflation. The COLA to VA’s disability rates is the same percentage as for Social Security as required by Public Law 114-197.

For 2016, it was determined there was a 0.3% increase in the inflation rate based on the Consumer Price Index. Therefore, the COLA for 2017 is 0.3%. The adjustment to your benefits will occur in December and will be distributed on Friday, December 30, 2016. You may view your VA payments on eBenefits.

We encourage you to share this email with a friend. We have provided additional information on the adjustment below:

VA Compensation Benefit Rate Tables – rate for the following benefit types:

  •     Veterans Compensation Benefits
  •     Special Monthly Compensation
  •     Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  •     Parents DIC
  •     Automobile Allowance, Clothing Allowance and Medal of Honor
  •     Birth Defects

VA Veterans Pension Rate Table

VA Survivors Pension Rate Table

Veterans Benefits Administration
Any questions please contact the DAV Benefit office at 612-970-5665

Legislative Update 2017


Just after the New Year there will be a big event for Veterans in the state of Minnesota, the state legislature will start the 2017 session on January 3rd. Over the past three years I have been working diligently to ensure the DAV of MN is at the forefront of the legislative process in our state. That work will continue throughout this upcoming session.

As the DAV of MN’s Legislative Chair I have been working closely with legislators to introduce legislation this session to protect our state’s disabled Veterans and their widow/widowers. Currently, I am in the last stages of finalizing a bill for introduction this coming session that would extend the property tax value exclusion to additional widows and make it a lifetime benefit. Once the legislation is finalized I will be sending out an informational sheet on it.

This is a big step for the DAV of MN as we strive to be a leader in the legislative process. As a part of this process I will be looking for partners in the Veterans community to help ensure this important legislation is enacted. It is very rare to see lawmakers vote “against” Veteran’s issues, however, in previous years I have noted Veterans legislation may not be voted against, it is simply allowed to die a very quiet death.

To ensure this does not happen we must build a better “grass roots” network. If there is a piece of legislation that protects or provides for Minnesota’s disabled Veterans, and it is stalling, I can only do so much as your Legislative Chair. However, if we have Veterans advocates identified throughout the state I could alert them if the committee their legislator is on has legislation stalling out.

At the state level it is extremely effective to have constituents call and remind their legislators they are paying attention. The calls don’t need to be just from Veterans, we have a lot of allies in our communities who are searching for a way to assist.

The Minnesota legislature has been doing much of its work in the closing minutes of the session. The effect of this is that much of what is included/excluded is decided in private negotiations. That means there is very little time for us to react. It could take only a matter of hours for something detrimental to Veterans to be enacted in this type of atmosphere. It is imperative we have the network of Veterans organized to quickly react in those situations.

Throughout the coming session I will be at the Veterans Committee hearings every Monday. If you would like to come as part of group to see how it works just let me know. There are addition committees if Monday does not work for you.

If you are interested in being proactive and helping me build a strong grass roots network in our state please contact me: [email protected] or 651-788-3186.

Trent Dilks, Legislative Chair

DAV MN & DAV Ch. 13 Grand Rapids Partner for Town Hall

On December 8, 2016 the DAV of MN and Chapter 13 partnered up for a town hall event in Cohasset.

This was an excellent event where local Veterans got the opportunity to discuss state issues with their legislators. In attendance were the newly elected State Senator and both Representatives for District 5. This was a great opportunity for these new legislators to transition from campaigning to governing.

The local chapter did a great job securing an excellent venue at the community center and supplied a free meal to all Veterans and family members in attendance. Even with some rough weather we had 50 Veterans in attendance.

There was an active conversation about the DAV of MN’s legislative priorities for the upcoming session. After those were presented each legislator had an opportunity to introduce themselves and discuss their legislative priorities for Veterans. We then transitioned into the Q&A session where the local Veterans were able to ask questions and express their concerns.

This was the 4th such town hall and the events continue to be a major success for the chapters who host these. The hosting chapter works closely with Legislative Chairman, Trent Dilks to coordinate the event. Trent takes care of contacting legislators, invites, promotional fliers and conducting the town hall. The hosting chapter is responsible for venue, meal/refreshments and getting the word out to the local Veteran’s community.

If any chapter is interested in more information about hosting an event like this please contact Trent: 651-788-3186 or [email protected]

ABC Teams with DAV Chapter 28 Mayo SE to Produce Pillow Cases for Veterans in Area Care Facilities

ABC (Ability Building Center) is partnering with the DAV Chapter 28 Mayo SE in Rochester to produce commemorative pillowcases for veterans currently in area nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

See info on ABC at:  http://www.abcinc.org/

Available in editions for each branch of the armed forces, the cases are assembled by ABC participants and then screen printed with “Proud Veteran” before distribution to the recipients.

Rich Daly, Commander of DAV Chapter 28 in Rochester, selected ABC for production after a discussion with Executive Director Bruce Remme and examination of ABC’s facilities.

“ABC is a great organization to work with and partnering with them added a special touch to the entire effort” said Commander Daly.

Four ABC participants have been assigned, overseen by ABC’s Linda Livingston. “Our workers take special pride in doing this job for veterans, as most have parents or grandparents who have served in the military,” Livingston explained.

So far ABC has produced 467 cases. Both organizations hope this is the beginning of a lasting partnership.

Photos: 1) Rich Daly of the DAV takes delivery of the first batch of cases from Linda Livingston at ABC. 2) A selection of some of the variations produced at ABC.



DAV Chapter 22 Donates Rowing Maching to St. Cloud VAMC

DAV Crow Wing County Chapter 22 donated a Concept 2, model D, indoor rowing machine to the St. Cloud VA Health Care System to start a competitive indoor rowing team and encourage Veterans to improve their fitness and overall health with rowing.

The team originated in September in time for the Concept 2 Fall Challenge. With 395 teams and 4,645 participants in the challenge, the team took first place nationally in the “Medical Facility” Category.

Team members Brad Thom, VSO at St. Cloud VAMC; Michael J Rawlings, Team Captain and Senior-Vice Commander of DAV Chapter 22; and Leah Egan, Recreation Therapist, were part of the six-member team. James M. Kampsen was instrumental in getting the machine approved and placed, currently in the fitness clinic at the St. Cloud VA.

The St. Cloud VA Crew is looking for interested staff and Veterans to join the team for upcoming Challenges and the World Championships coming up in the spring. 15319287_1356679694366656_1782871110552206453_n

All interested should contact Leah Egan, (320) 252-1670, ext. 6180, [email protected], to get signed up for the Holiday Challenge.

Pictured left to right: Brad Thom, Veterans Service Officer, St. Cloud VAHCS; Michael J. Rawlings, Crew Team Captain and Senior Vice Commander DAV Crow Wing County Chapter 22; Leah Egan, Recreation Therapist, St. Cloud VAHCS; and James M. Kampsen, Chief of Voluntary Services, St. Cloud VAHCS. Not pictured: Team members William Goodmanson and Chad Scheltens

Going to Bat for Veterans Award

St. Paul, MN, November 14, 2016: The Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota is proud to announce the presentation of the “Going to Bat for Veterans” award to Rep. Bob Dettmer of Forest Lake representing District 39A.14275296-84c0-41d2-8a43-9313a5d47327

The award was presented to Rep. Dettmer in recognition of his years of dedicated service to the Veterans within Minnesota. As the Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee he has been instrumental in advancing the causes of Veterans.

The award read, “This award is presented in recognition for your years of dedication and willingness to go to bat for Minnesota’s Disabled American Veterans. Your continued dedication to the Veterans of our state has, and will continue to have, a positive impact on countless veterans past, present and future. It is with great admiration and respect the DAV of MN presents this award in recognition of your outstanding service.”

The “Going to Bat for Veterans Award” is presented when a legislator distinguishes themselves for dedicated service to Veterans. It is not necessarily presented on an annual basis. Today’s presentation marks the first time the DAV of MN has bestowed this award to a state legislator.

The Disabled American Veterans, Department of Minnesota is veterans service organization dedicated to fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. It is comprised of over 19,000 members in Minnesota, all of whom were injured or wounded in military service. If you have any questions about this release, DAV of MN or are legislative priorities please contact Trent C Dilks, DAV of MN at [email protected] or 651-788-3186.