The Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota is proud to recognize the work of Jerald and Elisabeth Knutson from Roseau/Middle River Chapter 41. Jerald serves as Chapter 41’s Commander and Elisabeth is the Chapter Adjutant. Although this is one of the newest Minnesota DAV chapters, they have already embodied the DAV’s mission; to better the lives of Minnesota’s disabled veterans and their families.
Chapter 41 has been operating their own transportation program that provides free rides for veterans to get to their medical appointments. The chapter currently has two vehicles, one of which is a side loading wheelchair van to allow for safe transportation of their many veterans that are wheelchair bound. Northern Minnesota has very limited public transportation, making this service essential.
Within a three-week period, two of the chapter’s main drivers both had to drop out due to severe medical problems. Jerald, with help from Elisabeth, have almost single-handedly taken over the program. Within the first eight working days of the year, Jerald drove over 1,500 miles transporting veterans.
As a result of their commitment to helping others, Jerald and Elisabeth have maintained the transportation program and no veteran has had to go without a ride. Since taking over the program they usually provide 2-3 rides per week to the Fargo VA Medical Center. On average these trips are over 200 miles one way, making for 16–20-hour days. Not to mention that they also own and manage a livestock farm with beef cattle, and hogs!
We recognize Jerald and Elisabeth Knutson for their unwavering commitment to helping veterans in their community. In times of hardship, it is inspiring to see individuals step up and make a difference. On behalf of the Minnesota DAV, we appreciate all you have done. Your hard work and sacrifice has not gone unnoticed!
If you live in the Roseau/Middle River area and are interested in becoming a volunteer driver, please contact Jerald at 218-469-2093. Any amount of time you can give will make a difference.