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Thanks Minnesota - May 2018


Dear friends of Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund,

Happy National Military Appreciation Month. We’re still in a celebratory mood from our Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Dinner, held last Thursday, May 3. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and helped us continue our mission of “Thanks.” In recognition of all that MMAF has done to support our state’s military, the state officially proclaimed May 3 as “Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund Day.”

Nearly 450 guests enjoyed an inspiring evening kicked off with by choral group VocalEssence performing The Star Spangled Banner. Tom Hauser of KSTP acted as MC and we heard thoughtful and moving remarks from our honored guest speakers, Retired Air Force Colonel Ken Rizer and Former Army First Lieutenant Trista Matascastillo. MMAF chairman Roger Sit reminded us of how far we’ve come over the last 13 years, —distributing grants totaling over $10.9 million dollars to Minnesota service members.

Roger also officially awarded our 17,000th grant in person, to Gunnery Sergeant Kyle Halland. An active duty Marine for almost a decade, GySgt Halland deployed with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Philippines and Afghanistan. He’s now serving in a joint intelligence reserve unit as a senior enlisted leader providing time-sensitive support to unit commanders. We’re so glad we could recognize him in person. Check out the great photo gallery from the event!

As Roger pointed out in his speech, it is expected that almost 1000 Minnesota soldiers will be deployed in 2018, including more than 160 soldiers from Minnesota’s 851st Vertical Engineer Company who recently left for Kuwait in support of operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. As we observe the remainder of Military Appreciation Month, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day this Friday May 11 and Memorial Day on the 28th, let’s continue to focus on the servicemen and women, and their families, who sacrifice so much in defense of our country and the freedoms that make it unique.