Saturday, May 25, 2024


On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, I had the honor and pleasure to join fellow Veterans, service organi­zations, and supporters for Veterans Day on the Hill (VDOTH for the acronym fans) at the State Capitol. Karen, Cook CVSO, and I joined Pine County attendees. Thanks to Mindy, Pine Coun­ty CVSO, for providing transportation.

The event started at the National Guard Ar­mory. After a few guest speakers and a free lunch, we started our march to the Capitol. The hundreds in attendance filled the rotunda for more speakers and honored guests, which in­cluded two World War II Veterans, 102 and 98 years old. In unison, our voices reverberated off the walls as we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. An experience that continues to provide me with pride and joy.

The event promotes Veterans advocacy and positive legislative changes meant to better the lives of Veterans, their families, and those they leave behind. The attendees, from across the state, showed our elected officials the importance of the challenges faced by the Veteran commu­nity and how their actions to address the issues are being scrutinized by the voters.

A few of the topics discussed at the event and  being addressed legislatively in 2024 are:

  • Pass the Veterans and Military Omnibus Bill. It happened for a second time in 2023, so why not make it a yearly occurrence like our tax or transportation bills.
  • Modernize the Homestead Market Value Ex­clusion. Increases for the two levels of proper­ty tax exclusions to align with property values more closely.
  • Waive license fees on hunting, trapping, and fishing for all Minnesota veterans. The ap­proval of this proposal would likely increase the net license revenue for the DNR by en­couraging their family members to purchase licenses.
  • Allocate proceeds from military or veteran li­cense plates to the Support Our Troops Li­cense Plate Grant Fund. Proceeds from all the other kinds of license plates that recognize past military service, military decorations, veterans’ organizations, or veteran status (40 in total) go into the state’s general fund.

Cook County and Lake County Veterans Ser­vices are already planning for VDOTH 2025. We will be looking for feedback from those interested in attending, as we look at potential transporta­tion options. Depending on availability, we will also look at scheduling time with our Minnesota House and Senate representatives.

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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