Politicians said the new Vikings stadium would create jobs, and Thursday we have some proof. A job fair was held at the Sabathani Community Center in north Minneapolis to connect the construction firms involved in the stadium with skilled workers. The firms aim to recruit women, minorities and veterans to work on the project, due in part to a provision of the stadium legislation which sets aside a percentage of jobs for these groups.
Hundreds came to the State Capitol Thursday to ask legislators to give $100 million to provide shelter for the homeless. The money would go to pay for 5,000 units across Minnesota, and supporters say it would keep Minnesota on track to be first state to eliminate homelessness for veterans. According to Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL-St. Paul), 14,000 people are homeless on an average night in the state.
Legislation giving military veterans a legal right to Veterans Day off from work is advancing in the Minnesota Legislature. The bill cleared a state House committee on Wednesday and was also getting consideration in the Senate.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura contends he isn’t going after the widow of slain “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle by continuing his defamation lawsuit, but rather the publisher’s insurance company. “It’s not me against her,” Ventura said in a wide-ranging interview Monday night with The Associated Press. Ventura alleges that Kyle, considered to be the deadliest sniper in American history, defamed him in his best-selling book. In it, the former Navy SEAL describes a 2006 bar fight in which he claims he punched someone named “Scruff Face,” whom he later identified as Ventura. Ventura, also a former Navy SEAL and pro wrestler, says the fight never happened.
The Wild take on Tampa Tuesday night in a dash to the Olympic break. Keith Ballard came home in the off season to try and help solidify a group of defensemen that is a blend of veterans and youth.
A major effort is underway to end homelessness in the Twin Cities with a special emphasis on those who are suffering after serving our country. It’s a joint project between St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis joined forces for Friday’s announcement in downtown Minneapolis.
For military members returning home from deployment, the adjustment back to everyday life can be difficult. Veterans can take advantage of many different resources, from job training to emotional support. But one area that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the family. Now there’s a new study at the University of Minnesota to help parents and children cope with the return home.
Twenty-eight-year-old Derek Weida lost his right leg after being shot while on patrol in Iraq. “I was thinking, ‘There’s a good chance I could die out here.’ And I obviously came really close,” Weida said. He struggled with what to do with his life when he came home, but now he has a plan to help himself, and veterans just like him. Derek loved everything about the military, especially the brothers and sisters he made as part of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Thousands of Minnesota veterans return home from combat duty every year. But when they get here, it’s sometimes tough to get a job. That’s only one of the struggles veterans face. Finding a job, getting health care services, fighting homelessness.
Sometimes a simple gesture can be so inspiring, it leads to something bigger than anyone expected. That’s what we found in central Minnesota. A few years ago, people chipped in to put a few winter wreaths on the graves at the State Veterans Cemetery near Little Falls.
A wounded Minnesota soldier is being recognized with a very special gift. Justin Utecht was given the keys to a house in Minnetonka on Friday. “It’s absolutely gorgeous in there,” Utecht said. “For a single guy it’s pretty good.” U.S. Bank, Freedom Alliance and Five Brothers Default Management Solutions partnered together to donate the home as a kickoff to Veterans Day weekend. Utecht served in Iraq from 2006 to 2008, and has struggled adjusting to life back at home due to post-traumatic stress disorder and migraines.
A new play based on personal stories of military veterans of all conflicts and all sides will be performed next month at Fort Snelling. “The Veterans Play Project” previews Nov. 14 and runs Nov. 15-24 at Fort Snelling’s Base Camp.
The former resident at 136 Shadywood Lane in Delano, Minn., was a victim of the nation’s housing collapse. Now, this once bank-owned property is a proud symbol of recovery, as it was the the first Minnesota home donated to Operation Homefront’s Homes for Veterans program.
In Minnesota, veterans rallied at the Vietnam Memorial in St. Paul to show their support of the national movement. They talked about the closing of the national war memorials and the suspension of death benefits to military families.
Minnesota veterans also rallied Sunday morning in support of the march in D.C. The protest on the National Mall in Washington D.C. was led by hundreds of veterans and demonstrators, against the shutdown.