ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Rochester Disabled American Veterans (DAV) hosted a resource fair for female veterans.
The fair took place at VFW Post 1215.
“We had about 75 people here today who received information about veteran resources and were able to have this camaraderie and solidarity with other female veterans,” said Jennifer Shukamaker, the organizer of the Olmsted County Veterans Services event and officer.
Resources included Veterans Health Care, Veterans Benefits Administration, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
“There are so many women who don’t know they are veterans. We say to ourselves, ‘did you serve in the army? Yes. Then you are a veteran. Oh, I thought it was my grandfather who was in World War II,” Schumaker said.
She said that in Minnesota, 11% of the military are women.
“To be able to serve, just the pride and the loyalty and the things that I can pass on to my daughter and my son, and that’s a fantastic feeling and it just touches me,” said Jaclyn Schlichter, a National Guardsman from the ‘army. Veteran.
She said events like the resource fair help female veterans stand on their feet when asked about their military experience.
“You are invisible. You are not seen. You are not recognized as a veteran and yet you show up and say to yourself, no I have a place at this table. This is my place,” Schlichter said.
Schumaker said she was pleased with the recent veterans laws Governor Tim Walz passed on May 10:
The bill includes nearly $25 million for FY23 for service bonuses to post-9/11-era veterans and Gold Star families.
In FY23, $5.4 million will go to a grant to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans to provide assistance to veterans and ex-service members and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless . The bill also includes $1.7 million per year to fund temporary housing options for homeless veterans and ex-service members and to increase outreach to end homelessness.
The bill includes funding of $10.3 million in FY22 and $16.5 million in FY23 to design, build, furnish and equip new homes for veterans to support aging veterans in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston, Minnesota.
National Guard retention
$4 million will go toward enlistment incentives designed to retain trained and ready members of the Minnesota National Guard in fiscal year 23-25.
The bill includes $830,000 a year to operate state veterans cemeteries, including operations in Redwood County.
The bill passed the Minnesota House and Senate with near unanimous support.
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