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Minnesota Campaign Helps Returning Vets Adjust

November 11, 2008

Minneapolis, MN – The nation thanks its veterans today. Returning service members have not always felt welcome, however, and many have had problems readjusting. In response, a Minnesota-based effort now exists to help those who served integrate back into their communities. Dennis Donovan with the "Warrior to Citizen Campaign" says they need some space, time, understanding and opportunity.

"Most veterans come back changed. It is foolish to think that everything is going to be okay -– that they're going to come back and go right back into regular life."

He says the campaign, which is part of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, helps communities meet the needs of returning soldiers, from job hunting and medical assistance to education, counseling and more. Through the campaign, they also can find a way to use their new skills. The effort involves community leaders, the National Guard, faith groups, public and private organizations and state legislators.

We have an obligation, he observes, to serve those who risked their lives for us.

"As human beings and as citizens, we should be grateful for those who serve us and help us stay free. And it is our duty, because we have so many blessings and so many opportunities because of their service."

Donovan says he doesn’t want current veterans to go through what those returning from Vietnam went through. Vets and those interested in helping them can learn more at www.publicwork.org.



Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN