Military Appreciation Day at Minnesota’s State Fair; Honoring Employers of Military

Aug. 26, 2022
Military Appreciation Day at Minnesota’s State Fair; Honoring Employers of Military

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – The Minnesota State Fair’s eleventh Military Appreciation Day
takes place Tuesday, and this year’s theme is honoring employers of military families.
“The Minnesota National Guard is a part-time job for more than 10,000 members. Our service
members and their families depend on support from Minnesota employers and communities to
accomplish our state and federal missions,” said Army Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, the Minnesota
National Guard’s Adjutant General. “We want to recognize them for their sacrifices when our
citizen Soldiers and Airmen are called to duty.”

“At the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, we not only thank the many employers of
military and veteran families but are proud to be an employer of many veterans ourselves,” said
MDVA’s Commissioner and retired Army Colonel, Larry Herke. “These veteran staff members
are proud to continue serving other veterans and ensure they receive all the benefits they have
earned. Most recently, this includes helping veterans exposed to ‘burn pits’ or other toxins
through the recently passed PACT Act and continuing Minnesota’s tradition of recognizing the
service of our veterans by facilitating the Post-9/11 Service Bonus program.”
Military Appreciation Day is presented by USAA (United Services Automobile Association) and
coordinated by the Minnesota National Guard.

I am grateful for USAA’s Military Affairs Representative and Army veteran, Mike Evans, as we
worked together to make this day special for employers of military families and all who have
served in uniform to protect our state and nation,” said Army 1st Sgt. Beth Dedic, Military
Appreciation Day’s project officer.

Military Appreciation Day’s official ceremony commences at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30th,
at the Minnesota State Fair’s Leinie Lodge Bandshell. The program will include remarks by
senior leaders of Minnesota’s military and the MDVA commissioner. Minnesota’s leaders will
recognize Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve as they celebrate 50 years of service. The
program concludes at 10:25 a.m. with a helicopter flyover from the 34th Expeditionary Combat
Aviation Brigade. The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division’s Concert Band performance follows at
10:30 a.m.

Starting at 12:10 p.m. throughout the afternoon on Dan Patch Stage, ESGR will recognize 23
employers of military members or their spouses. These employers are being recognized for going
above and beyond in their support of military families.

Since 2010, the Minnesota National Guard, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, Beyond
the Yellow Ribbon Network, and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System have partnered with
Mr. Tom Lyons and iHeartMedia Minneapolis to create the weekly, state-wide syndicated radio
program and podcast Minnesota Military Radio. Minnesota Military Radio will host their show
near the iHeartMedia Booth, where MDVA’s commissioner is a guest host on the show at noon,
and the Guard’s adjutant general is a guest host at 1:30 p.m.

More than 45 educational and military-connected booths will be located at Dan Patch Park, along
with entertainment on the Dan Patch Park stage from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Programming includes
a 10:30 a.m. performance by Army veteran Kevin Gerdes as Prairie Voice (light rock and
country). Performances throughout the afternoon by various 34th Red Bull Infantry Division’s
Band ensembles with the fan-favorite the Red Devils (rock band) performing at 4:30 p.m.

The State Fair offers discounted tickets ($12 rate) for military members, veterans, and their
families on August 30th with documentation at the gate. For more information on the Military
Appreciation Day at the State Fair, go to
Editor’s Note: To schedule a media interview about Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation
Day, call Lt. Col. Kristen Augé at 651-282-4410 or
To schedule a media interview with MDVA’s Commissioner Larry Herke, call Communications
Director Anne Sonnee at 651-263-2640 or
About the Minnesota National Guard

Established in 1856 and headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota National Guard has more than
13,000 soldiers and airmen who serve in 58 communities across the state. The citizen-soldiers
and airmen of the Minnesota National Guard are ‘Always Ready’ to fight the nation’s wars,
protect the country, respond to state emergencies and contribute to local communities. News,
insights and perspectives from the Minnesota National Guard are available at
About MDVA

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is a cabinet-level state agency
dedicated to serving Minnesota Veterans and their families. In addition to overseeing the five
State Veterans Homes and three State Veterans Cemeteries, MDVA helps eligible Veterans and
families secure state and federal benefits and provides programs and services relating to higher
education, benefits, burial, claims, outreach and Veterans employment. Veterans and their
families are encouraged to visit or call 1-(888)-LinkVet for more
information about benefits.