Minnesota’s State Fair Military Appreciation Day; Honoring Vietnam Veterans

Aug. 25, 2023

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – The Minnesota State Fair’s 12th Military Appreciation Day
takes place Tuesday, and this year’s theme is Honoring Vietnam Veterans.

“Today, we want to honor our nation’s Vietnam Veterans. There are more than 5.8 million
Vietnam Veterans living in America and 97,000 living in Minnesota,” said Army Maj. Gen.
Shawn Manke, the Minnesota National Guard’s Adjutant General. “This day is for all service
members and their families who have given much to defend our state and nation.”

“The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to honor our Vietnam War-era
Veterans at this year’s State Fair,” said MDVA’s Interim Commissioner Brad Lindsay. “MDVA
is here to serve Minnesota’s almost 300,000 Veterans and their families and encourages them to
visit our State Fair booths, on Military Appreciation Day in Dan Patch Park and throughout the
12 days of the fair in the Education Building to learn more about the benefits you have earned.”
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 Navy veteran, Mike Magnetta, as
we worked together to make this day special for Vietnam Veterans and all who have raised their
right hand and swore an oath to protect our 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 29, at
the Minnesota State Fair’s Leinie Lodge Bandshell. Minnesota’s leaders will recognize Vietnam
Veterans as they celebrate 50 years since the last troops left Vietnam. The program concludes
with a flyover from four Blackhawk helicopters 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 11:20 a.m., Vietnam Veterans will march (leisurely stroll) from Leinie Lodge to Dan
Patch Park. The march is open to all Vietnam Veterans – line up begins at 11 a.m. on Cosgrove
Street (East of Leinie Lodge). Fair goers are encouraged to line the way and cheer on our
Veterans as they pass by to give them the recognition they deserve.

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 interim 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.

Fifty 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 5 p.m. 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 3:30 to 4 p.m. and 4:10 to 5 p.m.

The State Fair offers discounted tickets ($13 rate) for military members, veterans, and their
families on August 29 with documentation at the gate. For more information on the Military
Appreciation Day at the State Fair, go to mnstatefair.org.

Editor’s Note: To schedule a media interview about Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation
Day, contact Lt. Col. Kristen Augé at 651-282-4410 or kristen.l.auge.mil@army.mil
To schedule a media interview with MDVA’s Interim Commissioner Brad Lindsay, contact
Communications Director Anne Sonnee at 651-263-2640 or anne.sonnee@state.mn.us.

About the Minnesota National Guard
Established in 1856 and headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota National Guard has nearly 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 eight
State Veterans Homes and four 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 and outreach. Veterans and their families are encouraged to
visit MinnesotaVeteran.org or call 1-(888)-LinkVet for more information about benefits.