Friday, October 23, 2015

Everyday is Veterans Day

The Hastings annual community wide Veterans Day celebration will be held on 11 November at the Hastings Country Inn, 33rd Street with a 5;30 PM social hour and 6:30 PM dinner with the program following. Cost of the menu is $11 and tickets can be purchased at the American Legion, Green Mill Restaurant Bar and Grill and the Veterans of Foreign Wars between Hwy 61 and 316 (Wednesday and Saturday, 11 AM – 2 PM)

This year's guest speakers are two inspiring and distinguished Women Veterans who choose to continue to work for America's Veterans after faithfully serving their Nation.

Ashley Laganiere is a third generation Army veteran and spouse, and has a strong passion for serving Minnesota Veterans.  Ashley joined the MN Army National Guard in 2002 at the age of 17 until being discharged due to a service-connected disability.  After service, Ashley attended Winona State University and obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education with emphasis in communication, arts and literature and after teaching for a year, assumed a position with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, St. Paul Regional Office in compensation, developing claims for service-connection, specializing in development of military sexual trauma claims along with being involved in mentoring and training employees on the national level.  After obtaining a Masters Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University, she assumed the responsibilities of Gold Star Families and Women Veterans Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. This year, she was selected as one of the 2015 Minnesota Humanities Center Veterans Voices Legacy Award winners.

Trista Matascastillo, began her military career in 1992 when she enlisted in the United States Navy, where she served as an Avionic Technician and the first woman to serve in her command. She later was selected into a commissioning program and branch transferred into the United States Marine Corps. After four years with the Marine Corps she transferred to the Minnesota Army National Guard, serving as an active guard and reserve officer. She served as the first woman Air Defense officer and later commanded the 34th Military Police Company. In 2008, Trista left the military and began working for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity as the Government Relations Senior Associate until 2013.  Trista currently serves as the Program Officer, Veterans' Voices program with the Minnesota Humanities Center. Trista also serves as Chair, of the Women Veterans Initiative, advocating for equality in services and developing programming specific to the needs of Women Veterans.  She also participates as Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program consumer advocate for Military and Veteran Research, and Secretary of Gender Justice as well as a contributing author of the Attorneys Guide to defending Veterans in Criminal Court. Trista was honored as the 2011 Minnesota Woman Veteran of the Year and recently received the Land O' Lakes Inspirational Woman award. 

Veterans Day is an official United States Federal holiday that is observed annually on November 11th, honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I that formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month in 1918. When the Armistice with Germany went into effect, the United States originally observed Armistice Day which evolved into the current Veterans Day. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives.

Let's give thanks to our brave Veterans who struggled for us in order to achieve liberty and sovereignty. As the nation honors them, we also have to salute them for their sacrifices in defense of our Nation.

Additionally, Dakota County Pleasant Hill Library will honor Veterans Day on Sunday, 8 November from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The Pledge of Allegiance will be recited, "America" will be sung, Veterans will share their experiences and read short patriotic stories. Special guest is Miss Minnesota. This is open to any pre-school child, and they do not have to be military affiliated. In additional a special exhibit will be present for the entire month of November.

On Tuesday, November 10th, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM "Letters from Home-World War II" will be shared at the Minnesota Veterans Home-Hastings in the auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the LeDuc and Historic Hastings.

Additional community Veterans Day observances will be held at the Hastings Middle School at 9:30 AM (Paul Scott Langenfeld); Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parachoical School Mass at 1:00 PM; Minnesota Veterans Home-Hastings at 2 PM (VFW Department Commander Duane Hermanson), St John the Baptist, Vermillion at 2:30 PM and Pine Harbor Christian Academy has a program to be announced.

Dean W. Markuson
Director Beyond the Yellow Ribbon-Hastings
Service Officer, American Legion and VFW
436 Tiffany Drive, Hastings MN 55033 or (651) 438-2208

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