Independence Day is celebrated in many ways (after all, Americans love their independence); and often events and activities include a salute to veterans and active duty military personnel. As our military men and women serve with dedication in numerous capacities all over the world, there are many opportunities for civilians to do their part in supporting vets and military families all year long. Here are some suggestions for stretching your patriotic spirit into activities to help give back to those who have given so much.
One of the best ways to support veterans is to employ them. The Department of Defense has recognized Kraus-Anderson as an Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Above and Beyond award for its continued dedication to hiring vets and reservists; preserving jobs and maintaining communications when military personnel are called to active duty.
“Kraus-Anderson supported my family during my deployments and sent care packages to me in Afghanistan,” said Patrick Gallagher), winner of the Meritorious Service Medal from the U.S. Army Reserves and a project manager in KA’s Duluth office. “The company consistently provided support to me prior to, during and upon return from my deployments — not just lip service, but genuine concern and assistance as needed. I am deeply grateful for that support.”
Kraus-Anderson is one of 125 premiere employers participating in the Veterans Career Fair July 15 from 10-3 p.m. at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. The largest veterans career fair in the state, the fair also includes job search workshops, HR resource assistance, information on educational and training options, and referrals to non-work related services for veterans. There is no cost to attend.
Build some summer fun into your schedule that also includes helping veterans, active military members and military families.
The KA Walleye Classic live-release fishing tournament just wrapped up its 15th annual event, benefitting a host of community organizations, including Wounded Warriors Guide Service. Founded by veterans for veterans, the organization provides waterfowl hunting opportunities for vets who have been wounded in service.
If golf is your game, consider being part of a tourney such as the Minnesota Military Family Foundation (MMFF) Golf Classic, August 11, 2015 in Tartan Park.
Another opportunity is Tee It Up for the Troops, happening August 27 at Willow Creek Golf Course in Rochester. KA’s Rochester office is one of the supporters of the event, which benefits veterans and military families locally and nationwide.
If you’re more into bowling, consider joining an event such as Dave Lee’s Gutter Bowl 9 Tournament, which also supports the MMFF.
The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) serves veterans and their families throughout Minnesota who are homeless or experiencing a life crisis that could lead to homelessness. Their next Stand Down for Veterans is August 4-5 at the Boy Scout Base Camp at Fort Snelling All veterans are welcome to attend. Information on a host of free services to veterans will be available, including meals, housing, clothing, employment assistance, wellness and mental health counseling.
Never forget our fallen. Take some time for quiet reflection at a memorial such as the USS Duluth anchor near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along Duluth’s Lakewalk. The KA Duluth office coordinated some heavy lifting to place the 14-ton anchor of the USS Duluth near the site.
KA and many KAers initiate and support a range of recreational activities for vets, from sponsoring softball leagues for the Brooklyn Park Vet Center to the Hugo Yellow Ribbon group’s annual clay pigeons and pheasant hunt at Wild Wings.
You can help brighten the day for active troops by providing money or items for care packages supplies to organizations such as the Blue Star Moms & Yellow Ribbon Network. Commonly requested items include Girl Scout cookies, specialty ground coffee, beef jerky, hard candies, batteries, toiletries, and more. See list
As you enjoy the Fourth of July, consider building more meaning into your activities by helping our dedicated veterans. Happy summer!