Friday, June 14, 2024


Here he goes again with a multi-topic article consisting of random thoughts. My apologies to the English teachers and those literarily in­clined. While my ramblings are intended for Veteran consumption, I believe it to be important to inform all willing to digest my words. The lessons learned as a Veteran and CVSO are very often applicable to everyone.

I have previously shared that I am a ser­vice-connected, disabled Veteran due to a knee injury while serving in the Marines. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides bene­fits to Veterans who are determined to be dis­abled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. Just about any injury or illness you can imagine may be a service-connected disability.

It is common to see Veterans afflicted with both physical and mental ailments. Disabled Veterans are not defined by gender, age, nor by wartime service. I think it is important for everyone to realize appearance is not everything and not all injuries, illnesses, and wounds are visible. Please keep this in mind when inter­acting with a Veteran and understand the med­ical condition may be very private (and hon­estly none of your business).

Merriam-Webster defines volunteer as “a person who voluntarily undertakes or express­es a willingness to undertake a service: such as one who enters into military service volun­tarily”. I am encouraging everyone to consider becoming a volunteer, not for military service but for community service. I often wonder what we might accomplish locally if everyone vol­unteered a few hours each year. A common re­quest CVSOs receive is for Veteran transporta­tion. Please consider contacting a local service organization such as Community Partners (Two Harbors) or North Shore Area Partners (Silver Bay) to find out about volunteer opportunities.

I have one more request of my readers this week. If you are a family member, friend, or ac­quaintance of a Veteran, then please encourage them to contact their County Veterans Service Officer. Unfortunately, CVSOs do not have a list of all Veterans. We rely on the Veteran con­tacting us to document the existence and loca­tion of the Veteran, so we may connect them with the benefits they have earned.

American Legion Post 109 Veterans Day Din­ner on 11/11/2023 starting at 4:00 p.m. and din­ner served at 6:00 p.m. You have a choice of Chicken Marsala or Mushroom Beef Welling­ton. A limited number of reservations will be accepted. You must RSVP on or before the end of the day, 11/03/2023, with the number attending and your selection(s) for dinner. Veterans dinners will be paid for, with guest dinner cost at $17.00. Reservations can only be made by calling 218-510-0780.

Contact your County Veterans Service Of­ficer with questions. Please do not forget to leave a message if we do not answer.

Please be patient with your CVSO, as we are busy attempting to assist all our Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.

Brad Anderson and Melissa Crandall are the Lake County Veterans Service Officers and can be reached at 218.834.8326 or

cvso@co.lake.mn.us   Karen Christianson is the Cook County Vet­erans Service Officer and can be reached at 218.387.3639, or karen.christianson@co.cook.mn.us

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