Brain Injury Awareness Day – March 22

general-flyer_page_001If you could help circulate this, it would be greatly appreciated. I have the attached flyers (that you can view below as PDF’s) printed out, and would be happy to come bring more to you if you’re interested.

We reserved space in the VA auditorium on 3/22 from 1-4 pm for a small TBI symposium. We’re still ironing out the specifics, but it’ll have elements of a resource fair, with some interactive activities, showcase some research, and include a talk by Kelvin Lim, MD. Please let me know if you’re interested in attending, and please feel free to disseminate this to other interested parties.

DVBIC recently announced that the theme for BIAM 2017 is called Think Ahead. The theme includes prevention, identification and treatment subthemes – Be safe. Know the signs. Get help.

Some of the messages that DVBIC will be broadcasting via social media include:

Since 2000, more than 350,000+ service members were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. Support #BIAmonth and our military community by joining the #ThinkAhead hashtag campaign.

Line leaders, service members and veterans: Learn the basics of #TBI and when to get checked out during #BIAmonth.

U.S. Navy SEAL Brain O’Rourke’s wife noticed his symptoms of insomnia, irritability and anxiety. Her awareness helped lead to his #TBI diagnosis. Share his inspirational story of recovery throughout #BIAmonth.

After an incident such as a fall, motor vehicle collision, or sports-related injury, medical personnel look for signs of a TBI. Learn how service members are screened for possible brain injuries with @Military Health.

U.S. Army veteran Randy Gross uses his previous experiences with brain injury to help connect with service members and show them that recovery is possible.

MYTH: #TBI only affects individual service members, not the unit. FACT: #TBI affects a unit’s readiness and retention. Stay mission ready and prevent #TBI in garrison with tips from @A Head for the Future.

Know the symptoms of concussion with this #DVBIC fact sheet:

I have a wealth of new handouts, charts, etc. please let me know if you’re interested and I can bring them to you.

general flyer.pdf

symposium flyer.pdf


  • Justin Heesakker M.S., L.Ac., Dipl. OM
  • Regional Education Coordinator
  • Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC)
  • Contractor-General Dynamics Health Solutions
  • Minneapolis VA Medical Center
  • One Veterans Drive
  • Minneapolis, MN 55417
  • Office: (612) 629-7489
  • Mobile: (612) 443-7683

Looking for Veteran’s to participate in VA Focus groups

veterans-needed-for-focus-groupPlease help pass the word to any veterans who may be interested in participating in a VA focus group at the Minneapolis VA. This particular studio will be focusing on mental health care for PTSD (PTSD diagnosis not needed), but please don’t let that discourage people as they will have various different subjects for these studios down the road! Veterans who receive/received care from the VA are prioritized but not disqualified if they have no VA affiliation.

Annnette Brechon Kuyper
Director of Military Outreach=20
MN Department of Military Affairs
20 West 12th Street
St Paul, MN 55155-2004
(O) 651.282.4002
(C) 651.955.3108

April is the Month of the Military Child: MN Hidden Heroes

military-child-logoThank you to so many of you who have participated in April, the Month of the Military Child in the past. It is almost that time of year! There are several events and activities planned for April! Please see the information below and proudly support Minnesota’s Hidden Heroes and wear purple on April 21st for Purple Up Day. Also, post any activities you do using the hashtag #PurpleUpMN. There will be more information to come about the April 21st Purple Up day event. Below are some activities that will take place prior to April 21.

Order a Purple Up Shirt by March 7 to receive it by April 1.

Military-connected Youth can receive a letter of recognition from Gov. Mark Dayton website will be live from April 1-30 at

Submit an entry (now through April 17) in the Art Contest themed “Military Pride”. (see attached flyer for details)

Military families – email a photo that depicts what it looks like for your child to be in a military family. Email to State Family Programs Assistant 2LT Hannah Warner @ l

Please check our Facebook page for periodic updates @

Other best practices include sending thank you notes of appreciation through the school district to give to military youth, inviting a service member to the local library to read a book to kids, visiting military youth in the schools to give them thank you bags full of goodies, highlight some military youth in local newsletter or paper, hosting a military youth appreciation party, asking city leaders, the business community and teachers to wear purple on Fridays throughout the month, many ways to say thank you to your communities children during the month.





Thank you for your ongoing support!

Annette Brechon Kuyper
Director of Military Outreach
MN Department of Military Affairs
20 West 12th Street
St Paul, MN 55155-2004
(O) 651.282.4002
(C) 651.955.3108

Roger Jensen Passes Away

military-funeralI am sorry to inform you that Roger Jensen passed away due to cancer related to Agent Orange. Roger was the Assistant Commander at The Hamel American Legion and a courageous man! He will be buried Monday, February 27th at 11:00 pm. His service will take place at St. Thomas The Apostle Catholic Church in Corcoran. Roger called Commander Bill Roberts several weeks ago requesting an Honor Guard at his service. Immediately after Mass we will move to the cemetery behind the church for Final Honors. We will be outside for a period of time so dress appropriately.

I spoke with Roger’s wife Sandra. I told her there would be a Rifle Volley, Taps and Flag Presentation. She said that’s what Roger wanted. I’m asking all of you to make a special effort to participate. We will meet at the Hamel American Legion at 9:00 pm. Please contact me ASAP and let me know if you are able to attend. Thank you.

Jim Heimerl

(651) 261-3111

Career Opportunities

New Career Map

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Mental Health Conference – April 27-28

Dear Yellow Ribbon Networks, please invite your community partners in the mental health/medical field especially to attend our upcoming Military Mental Health Conference on April 27-28. They can either sign up on Facebook and be kept informed about registration instructions or I will send out when available.

Or, if your committee would like to learn more about what is happening in the state in regards to mental health, please send representation to attend. Please see the attached PDF for some initial information.


Thank you for your support!

Annette Brechon Kuyper
Director of Military Outreach
MN Department of Military Affairs
20 West 12th Street
St Paul, MN 55155-2004
(O) 651.282.4002
(C) 651.955.3108



The Fabulous Del Counts will be back at the Hamel VFW on Saturday, March 4th. In January they played to a large crowd. Folks loved our full ballroom floor. The Del Counts threw in some country and polkas along with great classic Rock & Roll to liven things up. If you missed it you missed a darn fun time. So join us in March for another great evening of dancing. We’re putting the fun back in Hamel!

Hamel March 4.pdf

Teen Resiliency workshop

Teen Resiliency:

An Integrative Skills-Based Model to Help Teens Develop Self Awareness & Enhance Well-Being


The Teen Resiliency Program is an integrative skills-based model to help teens develop self-awareness and skills to enhance social, physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. Based on The Chemistry of Joy Workbook, this model integrates principles from Holistic Psychiatry, Integrative Nutrition, Yoga-Based Movement and Mindfulness Meditation. Participants in this workshop will be guided through the Resiliency Model while analyzing its neuroscientific foundation.

Kathy Flaminio, MSW, LGSW, E-RYT-200, President and Owner – 1000 Petals LLC & Kevin Harrington, PhD, LP, Licensed Psychologist – Private Practice

Friday, February 24
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Mounds View Community Center
5394 Edgewood Drive
Mounds View, MN 55112
Level: Basic | For: Professionals | Includes Clinical Content
3 CEHs | $89



MACMH 2017
Winter Training Series

teen-2Now – March 2, 2017

Mounds View * Andover * Minneapolis

Don’t miss our group discount!

Groups of 5+ from the same agency or organization receive 10% off their registration.



Meditating girlThe Power and Promise in the Use of Guided Imagery

February 17 | Minneapolis, MN

Considered an alternative therapy for years, this session will explore guided imagery’s growing acceptance in the medical and scientific world-including research showing that practicing guided imagery can create…

Learn More | Register



Teen Resiliency: An Integrative Skills-Based Model

February 24 | Mounds View, MN

The Teen Resiliency Program is an integrative skills-based model to help teens develop self-awareness and skills to enhance social, physical, mental and emotional health and well-being…

Learn More | Register


teen-5The Emergence and Management of Psychopathic Behavior in Youth

March 2 | Andover, MN

Research and clinical experience has identified a cluster of serious behaviors termed “callous-unemotional traits” in children. These youth may follow a developmental pathway to antisocial behavior…

Learn More| Register


teen-6Mindfully Parenting Your Spirited Child – Special workshop for parents and caregivers!

March 6 | St. Paul, MN

This interactive presentation will provide an overview of the neuroscience and practical applications of mindful parenting based on the work of Dr. Dan Siegel…

Learn More | Register


Did you know?

Proceeds from these events fund our
community and parent support programs!

Thank you for making this possible!

Family Zoo Overnight


Monk seal

Who: MN Army National Guard Families with Children ages 5-18. We have enough space for up to families of 5. Other families will be put on a wait list.

What: Family Zoo Overnight

When: March 31-April 1, 2017 6:30 p.m.-9:00 a.m.

Where: MN Zoo, Discovery Bay, Apple Valley, MN

How: Register: ( Fee: Kid are no cost. Adults need to pay $47

About: Families will enjoy learning about the new Hawaiian monk seals and sleep next to the watery world of sharks in Discovery Bay. All overnights include behind the scenes tours, a light snack, light breakfast, an Animals After Dark t-shirt, and admission to the zoo the next day.

2017-March FOVN.pdf


POC: Laura Groeneweg
MN National Guard
Lead Child and Youth Program Coordinator
O: 651.268.8695; M: 651.242.6938Email

Free Tax Services from Military OneSource

Now that tax season is in full swing…please pass along the information below about our tax services to service/family members. Veterans are eligible to use Military OneSource services as long as they are within the 180 day window of their service date (example: A service member separated or retired 5 Oct 16 and file before 3 Apr 17, it is within the 180 day window thus are eligible).

Free Tax Services from Military OneSource


Service members and military families — here’s a benefit that helps you master your taxes. Free, easy-to-use MilTax software and support services can make quick work of tax time. No need to pay for outside tax assistance or risk missing specific military tax breaks. MilTax is made for military life, so you get more, including:

Tax preparation and filing software

Use our MilTax software to prepare and file your taxes online. This free software is tailored to military life — addressing scenarios including multiple moves, deployments and more. You can work anytime, anywhere, at your own pace. Plus, calculations have a 100 percent accuracy guarantee.

Specialized phone support

Get Free Tax Software

Get started using free MilTax software to prepare and file your taxes online.

You can talk with a trained MilTax consultant free during tax season (January through April 18) seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST or EDT at 800-342-9647. After April 18, trained tax consultants are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT. Call anytime to schedule an appointment.

In-person tax assistance

Talk to a Tax Consultant

Call 800-342-9647 to speak with a Military OneSource tax consultant — remember these consultations are free.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free in-person tax preparation and assistance at locations on and off base worldwide. Self-file using MilTax software at a kiosk where available. Work with a trained tax professional on site. Or, arrange to drop off your paperwork and come back to e-file when your return is ready.

Helpful articles and online resources

In our Taxes section, you’ll find articles with valuable information on how to file your tax return, such as “Tax Filing Made Simple” and “Filing Taxes When a Service Member is Deployed.” You can learn how new tax laws might affect you. And you can connect with Military OneSource financial counselors to make the most of your money.

MilTax serves those who serve. As a military member, you and your family are eligible for these exclusive resources. Make quick work of tax time with all the MilTax tools and services you’ve earned.

  • Michael J. Meier
  • Minnesota Military OneSource Consultant
  • Contractor
  • (612) 751-4290 (cell)

Home Depot and Lowe’s Offer Military Discounts

I received an email on another discount that is offered to military members from Home Depot and Lowe’s. Please read below as to the details for receiving 10% off your purchases. Some exclusions also apply. While I was verifying the requirements, I also came across a site on the Home Depot page that lists some of the wonderful things they have done for our military members and families.

What: Home Depot/Lowe’s Military Discounts

PBYR - Home Depot logo**Home Depot Military/Veteran Discount Policy

They offer a 10 percent discount, up to a $500 maximum, to all active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members with a valid military ID, every day of the week.

All other military veterans qualify for a 10 percent discount during Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Independence Day.

lowes_logo_pms_280**Lowe’s Military/Veteran Discount Policy

They offer an all day, every day 10 percent discount to all military personnel who are active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members, with a valid, government-issued military ID card.

All other military veterans will receive the discount on the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day weekends.

But please remember when asking about the discount, if the employee does not understand, do not make a big deal out of it. Ask to speak with the manager, and have your ID with you. And it must be a valid Government issued ID. It seems sometimes the employees get confused as to which policy a person falls under, which is understandable if they never served. So please be patient and courteous when asking about the discount.

Remember if you are a Veteran, but not Active, Reserve, Retired or disabled Veteran you are only authorized the discount on the above stated Holidays.

If you Are Active, Reserve, Retired, or a Disabled Veteran with a valid ID you can get the discount any day of the week.

To read some great things that Home Depot has done for our military members:

  • Yolonda Von Itter
  • Military Family Assistance Specialist
  • HRCI Contractor


Veteran’s Business Exploration Seminar



The attached PDF flyer is an advertisement for an upcoming Veteran’s Business Exploration seminar. Thanks for helping us get the word out.

Veterans and their spouses are invited to hear from small business owners and professional experts who will share perspectives during four key panels and
break-out sessions.

The date is March 11, 2017

The place is the VA Medical Center

The time is 8:00am-2:00pm

Breakfast is provided

Veteran’s and their spouses are welcome

Thanks again.

Vets-March 11th-Work shops va.PDF


Operation Valentine

valentineWHO: Military service members and their families
WHAT: Operation Valentine
WHEN: Saturday February 19, 2017
WHERE: Best Western Chelsea Inn and Suites, 89 Chelsea Rd., Monticello, MN 55362 From 3:00-7:00PM
WHY: Join the 11th Annual Celebration of Operation Valentine at Best Western Chelsea Inn and Suites
HOW: Please RSVP by calling Best Western at (763)-271-8880, by February 13, 2017.

Please see the attached flier for detail information about discounts and other interesting offers that are available.

Operation Valentine 2017 invite.pdf

PBYR flag