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Veteran Services: Showing appreciation to Minnesotans in the military

Minnesotans Military Appreciation Fund (MMAF) is a statewide fundraising initiative by the

citizens of Minnesota for our Minnesota military personnel and their families.

Founded in August 2005 by a non-partisan group of area business and community leaders,

MMAF calls on citizens to show their support and appreciation for the sacrifices made by

Minnesota military personnel deployed in combat zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan since

September 2001.

MMAF shows troops appreciation and respect for their efforts by providing cash grants to all soldiers, and to the families of soldiers who are killed in combat.

MMAF raises funds with a variety of multi-media initiatives and special events throughout the state. As funds are raised, Minnesota military personnel who have been deployed to a combat zone since September 2001 are eligible to apply for financial grants from MMAF. The grants represent the state's appreciation for their service and are not based solely upon need. The grant amounts will vary, however, according to the level of hardship endured as a result of combat zone deployment. Find more at www.thankmntroops.org.

Individuals can donate online at www.thankmntroops.org, by mail at P.O. Box 2070, Minneapolis, MN 55402 and at community gatherings and events.

Disbursements to eligible grant applicants began November 2005, with priority processing given to the applicants who were wounded or killed.

Minnesota military personnel or their families are asked to submit a grant application, which can be obtained from MMAF's website at www.thankmntroops.org. Applications are reviewed against MMAF eligibility guidelines. Eligible grant applicants are notified of the amount of their grant award and issued checks.

MMAF intends to provide cash grants to all Minnesotans who have served in combat. The levels of grants are:

• $500 for all Minnesota military personnel who serve in a combat zone,

• $2,000 - $10,000 for those wounded in a combat zone, with the amount based on the

severity of injury,

• $5,000 to the families of those killed in combat,

As stated above, grants amounts will be based on the dollars we are able to raise, with the intent to disburse grants to all approved grant applicants.

Subject to the availability of funds, MMAF intends to provide grants to all active duty or honorably discharged Minnesota military personnel who have served in a combat zone since September 2001.

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements stated on the grant application and should apply immediately.

Each applicant's eligibility will be confirmed, and grants will be issued based on the policy and criteria established by the Board of Directors. Special situations requiring discretionary determinations will be referred to the Grant Review Committee for final determination, and this may or may not involve the appropriate military Unit Commander.

A designated member of the Grant Review Committee will draw checks from the MMAF

account and mail to approved recipients.

Progress to date (as of June 1, 2018). MMAF has awarded over 17,100 grants to Minnesota

military personnel, totaling over $10.9 million dollars. Of those grants, 65 went to families of

Minnesota soldiers killed in combat, 495 went to wounded soldiers, and the remaining grants

have gone to Minnesotans who have served honorably.

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.

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