Veterans groups present van to the county; Vehicle to be used for driving vets to appointments

Published 7:47 am Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mower County veterans were on the giving and receiving end of two recent charitable drives earlier this week.

At Tuesday’s county board meeting, local veterans groups presented a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan to the county.

The van will be one of two vehicles used every even day of the month to drive veterans to appointments at veterans hospitals as far away as St. Paul and St. Cloud.

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The county also has a larger van with handicapped accessibility for disabled vets.

Veteran Arnold Earl presents the keys to a new veterans van to Commissioner Jerry Reinartz Tuesday outside the Mower County Government Center.
Jason Schoonover

Mower County service groups, Veterans for Veterans Fund and a private family raised money to purchase the van, which the county then staffs and maintains.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Hormel Military Veterans Engagement Team, or HMVET, presented 42 personal hygiene kits to the county.

“The company’s done an outstanding job really committing to veterans,” said Chris Lea, a supervisor at Hormel and an HMVET member.

Mower County Veterans Services Officer Wayne Madson praised the group for its efforts, telling the board a cash donation from the group recently saved a couple from being evicted.

“Hormel has always had a very active role with veterans in our community,” Madson said.

HMVET has 47 active members and works with the company’s HR team to try and hire veterans.

Groups sponsoring the van include:

—Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary, Austin Chapter 27

—American Legion and Auxiliary, Austin Post 91

—Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary, Austin Post 1216

—American Legion Spampost, Austin Post 570

—American Legion, Lyle Post 105

—American Legion, Adams Post 146

—American Legion, LeRoy Post 161

—American Legion, Grand Meadow Post 140

—Sons of the American Legion

—Robert and Colleen Weimer in memory of Charles Meakins

—Veterans for Veterans Fund