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.
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