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:

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.

YMCA Waives Joiner’s Fee for Veterans and Families

Minneapolis, MN – Effective November 1, all Minnesota YMCAs, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, will waive the joiner’s fee for veterans and their families. The monthly membership fee still applies.

The Minneapolis and St. Cloud VA Health Care Systems and the Minnesota Alliance of YMCAs recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that drops the enrollment fee and also allows the VA to use space at YMCA facilities for outreach events. The MOU is for a 28-month period.

“Our nation’s veterans, and their families, have dedicated so much in service to our country,” said Theresa Hillis, chair of the Minnesota Alliance of YMCAs. “The Y is honored to have the opportunity to show our appreciation by doing what we do best – improving the lives of individuals in the communities we serve. Minnesota is proud to join many YMCAs across the nation that are already working with the VA and providing services directly to veterans, and honoring their service.”

The fee waiver applies to all Minnesota veterans, including those who are not receiving VA benefits.

To apply for YMCA membership, veterans should go to their local YMCA and present their Veteran’s Health Identification Card, a copy of their DD214 form or a military ID card.

A list of all Minnesota YMCA locations is available at:

“The purpose for developing this partnership was to improve access to fitness opportunities and enhance the overall well-being of veterans and their families throughout the state,” said Dr. Kathlene Scholljegerdes, a psychologist and health behavior coordinator at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

The local outreach activities will depend on space availability at each YMCA. Outreach activities could include job fairs, town hall meetings and events related to employment, homelessness and healthy lifestyle programming.

“This important partnership is only a beginning but we envision other creative opportunities to work together with the YMCA to benefit our veterans,” said Patrick Kelly, director of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.

The Minnesota partnership is an extension of a national level agreement announced in December 2015 by VA Secretary Robert McDonald that the VA and Y-USA had agreed to work together on a national level to improve veterans’ health.

One of the VA’s goals under Secretary McDonald is to “enhance and develop trusted partnerships.”