The Minnesota Twins are giving a Military Discount for the rest of the season! Active military members or veterans with a valid ID plus up to three guests will get: Half-price Home Plate View tickets for every Monday through Thursday game and 10% off merchandise* Through the remainder of the 2016 season Available day of game only with current military ID, retired military ID, discharge papers or DD214, VA Medical Center ID, or Veteran Service Organization membership cards.
*All active military members with valid ID can receive a 10% discount on merchandise including game used, autographed and authenticated items at Target Field’s Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store and Game-Used Kiosk and the Twins Pro Shops.
The Minnesota Delegation to the 95th National Convention for the Disabled American Veterans, has returned to Minnesota. Minnesota was well represented in Atlanta, GA this year with over twenty members in attendance. It was an exciting week with meetings, seminars, guest speakers and the election of national officers.
The Convention kicked off with the meetings on the Saturday, July 30th and it kept rolling from there. On Sunday the MN Delegation was well represented at the morning business session and the seminars throughout the afternoon. During the course of the convention the assembled members and guests had the opportunity to hear from Sec. VA Robert (Bob) McDonald, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Senator Johnny Isakson, Department of Veterans Affairs Under Secretary for Health Dr. David J. Shulkin and the President of the United States Barack Obama. The message was similar from the President on down, there have been some significant gains in reforming the VA and there is still much to be done.
Minnesota was recognized several times receiving awards for membership, we also received a brand new Ford Flex donated by Ford. The Flex was given in recognition for the outstanding work our Volunteers in Minnesota do transporting our Veterans. In 2015 DAV Volunteers traveled over 1.7million miles transporting Veterans to their medical appointments. Over the lifetime of the vehicle it will transport thousands of Veterans to their appointments.
One of the highlights of the National Convention came towards the end when our Adjutant Stephen (Butch) Whitehead was unanimously elected for higher office of Second Junior Vice Commander. Congratulations Butch!!
This was my first National Convention and it was a terrific learning and networking opportunity. Every opportunity I have been given to learn about the DAV, over my first two years, I have been impressed. Through all of the training, seminars, speeches and workshops there was one overarching theme; We have had some successes and are making progress, however, as an organization we will continue to push for change and refuse to rest on our laurels.
Trent C Dilks
The DAV of MN has had a great success with reaching out to women veterans with their MN Lynx Partnership and the Homegrown Hero Program. Over the 17 game 2016 season, the DAV of MN selected a woman veteran to be recognized at the game. The MN Lynx also set up a special practice event for the DAV of MN and it’s guests. 50 veterans and family members were selected to take part in the Lynx Practice event (see Video). The Lynx used the DAV of MN as a test project for taking part in an actual team practice. The group got photo opportunities with the Lynx’s three WNBA championship trophies, followed by a lunch and program with Lynx leadership. The culminating event was the team practice and a question and answer session with the Lynx Coach and players.
Later that week was the Lynx, Hoops for Troops, military appreciation night sponsored by the DAV of MN. 50 guests were invited for a pre-game reception dinner. The DAV of MN was allocated 200 tickets to give away to veterans. Woman veterans were celebrated and recognized throughout the game. With this partnership with the MN Lynx, the DAV has been able to gain a vast new network of women veterans in the state.
The DAV of MN Outdoors Program recently returned from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area trip, bringing 5 veterans to Minnesota’s premiere canoe and camping resource. The group consisted of veterans from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan from all service branches, some of whom had never been canoed before. Without ever meeting one another prior to the trip, the group embarked on a 4 day trip with a mile long portage and a 3.8 miles paddle, carrying and transporting everything they needed to survive the trip. From their selected campsite, the group began to make camp and enjoy the fishing. Everyone took on roles to assist with the success of the trip to include gathering, cutting, and splitting woods, cooking, and cleaning, and of course fishing. With only one slight rainfall, the weather was beautiful the fish were biting and so were the mosquitos. The four days in the wilderness built a strong bond between the group as they had to rely on one another make a successful and enjoyable trip. In the end, friends were made, stories were told, and the fish stories got bigger and bigger.
The DAV of MN has partnered with the Minnesota Lynx, three time Women’s National Basketball Association Champions, to honor and highlight the service of woman veterans in the State of Minnesota with the “Homegrown Hero” program. “The Lynx have been an amazing partner and have been great at accommodating our needs and ideas for this program,” stated Stephen Whitehead, DAV of MN Department Adjutant and 4th National Jr. Vice. The program was created as an opportunity to provide public outreach and awareness of Minnesota’s women veteran population. Minnesota currently reports a population of 26,000 female veterans which is 7% of Minnesota’s 369,000 combined veteran population. During each home game of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, a woman veteran will be recognized at the game, as well as on MN Lynx social media outlets. Each veteran receives four tickets to the game with access to pre-game warm ups on court and recognition during the game. During a scheduled timeout, the veteran is brought to the center of the arena where they announce her biography and the DAV of MN’s commitment to honoring the service of Minnesota’s women veterans. The veteran is always met with an electric roaring response from the crowd. A Military Appreciation Night is scheduled in July where the DAV will be recognized as a Presenting Partner and will be given 200 tickets to give to women veterans and their family members for the event. There will also be an opportunity for 50 participants to visit a Lynx practice and breakfast.
With 17 home games, the DAV of MN staff took on the challenge of connecting with the female veteran community in order to find 17 veterans to be recognized. Past State Commander Greg Remus, and current member of the National Interim Women Veterans Committee along with Stephen Whitehead, DAV of MN Adjutant and 4th National Jr. Vice are constantly looking for ways to increase awareness of the role of women in our armed services, and a better understanding of the specific issues that they face after service. “This was an exciting opportunity that we couldn’t turn down,” stated Adjutant Whitehead, “We are trying to take a proactive ambitions approach to getting the word out to our female veterans and our MN communities that we are here working tirelessly to fulfill the promises to those who served.” The DAV of MN reached out to create new networks of ambitious women veterans in MN communities to assist with locating willing participants. This program would not be a success without the hard work of our women veteran volunteers who were committed to making this program a success. The DAV of MN recognizes and thanks the work of Jill Troutner of the Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative and Andrea Drost of the MN National Guard for assisting with this program.
Veteran pictures and bios can be viewed here