Waiting times at the two Veterans Affairs medical centers in Minnesota are considerably lower than the worst trouble spots in the VA system, new audit data released Monday show. The average wait time for a patient seeking primary care for the first time is 28 days at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and 25 days at the St. Cloud center, the data show. But the waits are much shorter for established patients who are already in the VA system — three days at Minneapolis and two days at St. Cloud.
Police in southeastern Minnesota are looking into a rash of robberies in which thieves target cemeteries, taking brass markers that show a deceased veteran’s military service.
The Minneapolis Police Department is looking for returning military veterans to fill the gaps in its ranks. The department took a big hit after changes in the state’s pension plan. It saw many MPD officers take early retirement.
There is increasing pressure on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. A new report from the VA’s inspector general says hundreds of veterans are awaiting care at a VA hospital in Phoenix. The average wait time is almost four months for a first appointment.
A day after we honored the memory of our fallen veterans, students are honoring the veterans in their lives. Sen. Al Franken announced the winners of his third Annual Poetry Contest for Minnesota Students — with winners in elementary, middle school and high school age groups.
For many who have served, Memorial Day has a very special meaning. For some it’s a day of pain, remembering the lives lost during combat. For others it’s a time to honor the fallen and let others know why it’s important to do so. But for most all who served, it is more than just a day off from work, barbecues and family gatherings.
A busy Memorial Day….Click the link above to listen back to some of the highlights via the PODCAST PAGE.
Military service members and spouses trained as teachers, police officers, hair stylists and other professions requiring state certification could begin working immediately if they relocate to Minnesota through a new law that grants them temporary licenses.
They served our country and now police say veterans are being disrespected. Police want to find whoever is stealing from their graves. The thieves took dozens of brass rods that hold a veterans’ symbols of service.
A study led by a University of Minnesota researcher has found that one in four veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq is going hungry, as they don’t have consistent access to food.
For hundreds of homeless veterans across the state of Minnesota, getting their hands on a nice business suit could be life changing.
Dozens of local World War II veterans are back from a one-day trip to Washington, D.C. They flew out at 6:15 a.m. Saturday morning and returned home around 10:30 p.m.
The Minnesota Wild are in Denver, getting ready for game one of their best of seven series against Colorado Thursday night.
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.