Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Congratulations to all the area athletes competing in state tournaments recently! I’d especially like to highlight golfers from Red Wing, as the girls’ team won the state championship and the boys’ team took fourth place. Individually for Red Wing, Cecil Belisle won his second boys’ golf state title and Sophia Yoemans won her third straight girls’ state title. Also, Red Wing's Leah Herzog was named Ms. Minnesota Golf for 2019. Congratulations to all the Winger golfers on an outstanding season! Click here for more on this impressive finish for Red Wing golf.
Eisenhower Bridge of Valor
Tuesday afternoon I had the privilege of attending the governor’s ceremonial bill signing for legislation to name the new Highway 63 bridge in Red Wing the "Eisenhower Bridge of Valor".
It’s been an honor advocating for this memorial to honor and remember the extraordinary courage and sacrifices of all our veterans and first responders. I’m thankful for those from our communities who advocated for this project and whose efforts helped make this possible.
Likewise, a number of veterans, first responders, Gold Star Family members, Purple Heart recipients, and community advocates from our area attended Tuesday’s ceremony. Being surrounded by these heroes as the governor put his signature on this name change was a powerful experience. I want to recognize these people, so below is a list of those who attended:
Roger Pohlman, Red Wing Police Chief & Veteran
Kathy Altstatt Bunkers, US Army Veteran & USMC mother
Julie Foreman, US Army Veteran & USMC mother
John Foreman, son of WWII USMC Veteran
Joan Kovacs, Gold Star Sister to Michael Lally KIA Vietnam
Andru Peters, Veteran
Tom Kosec, cousin to Thomas Reitman, USAF pilot KIA Vietnam
Greg Drazkowski, retired Wisconsin Fire and Rescue
Dodie and Mike Harris
Jessie Schmitt, Gold Star Wife & Founder of Victory and Valor for Veterans
Jerry Simon, VFW
Dave Green, VFW
Candace Bettendorf, DAR
Jessica Jenkins, Victory and Valor for Veterans
Bryan Bodrog, Purple Heart Marine Veteran & VP of Victory and Valor for Veterans
Jonathan Arnold, Victory and Valor for Veterans & Army Veteran
Linda Auger, Gold Star Mother
Breann Jenkins, Gold Star Family
With the bill now signed into law, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will be taking steps to “adopt a suitable design to mark this bridge and erect appropriate signs”.
Other Veterans Legislation
There were a number of other good things approved in the area of veterans and military affairs this session. Among them are full funding for state veterans homes to provide veterans with quality care, a Military Affairs budget providing the resources they need to succeed, and funding for a Medal of Honor Memorial at the State Capitol. Likewise, the new Veterans Affairs budget provides funding for veterans’ healthcare, the Minnesota GI Bill, and County Veterans Services Officers around the state.
The legislature also approved a measure to provide a veteran’s surviving spouse with a property tax exclusion for as long as the spouse stays in their house. In order to streamline this process and make it easier to carry out, we also approved allowing county assessors to share property information with county veterans services officers. This action continues honoring veterans’ sacrifices by extending their benefits to their spouses for a longer period of time.
Minnesota’s veterans deserve the best care and services we can provide. I was proud to support these initiatives this year and am happy to see them going into law.
Staying in Touch
Throughout the summer, if you have questions or concerns regarding any issue, please contact me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635.