Area Event Schedule
Events of military and veteran related interest within the area.
Veterans Day Observance 2017
Honoring the service and sacrifice of our nation's veterans with the annual Veterans Day Observance. The 2017 event will take place on November 10th, 11th, and 12th back at the War Memorial Auditorium in Willmar. Displays of over 6,000 military items from the Civil War through Modern Day and the history of hundreds of veterans shared and items available for public viewing. The display will be open 8am - 8pm all three days. All events at the Willmar War Memorial Auditorium, 311 6th St SW, Willmar MN.
A Special Observance Program will be held Saturday, November 11th at 7:30pm. The program will have special readings and messages from veterans along with music provided by the West Central Connection Chorus and members of the Community Christian Music Department. Also included this year will be a special Honor & Remember Flag Presentation, honoring the memory of Motor Machinist Mate John E Anderson, US Navy KIA 6 June 1944.
Blue Star Mothers of MN Chapter 1 will again be on hand all three days helping share the mission of their organization, and gathering items for care packages sent to troops deployed overseas.
Author's Showcase - Sunday November 12th begining at 12 Noon. Four MN Military Authors will be on hand with their books sharing the true stories of Military Service from WWII, Vietnam, and the War on Terror.
At 1pm that day, each of the authors will have a time to talk to the group on hand about their books, and answer questions. Please stop in, meet the authors, and pick up your copy of each of these titles from the authors.
The authors are, in order of the war eras, oldest to most recent:
Faye Berger - "Finding Foxholes" A World War II Infantry Route, Then... And 48 Years Later. The true story of her Father's military service, and her journey revisiting his unit's route through Europe with him in the 1990s.
Ron Mackedanz - "Drafted" - The true story of Ron's service in the US Army Infantry in Vietnam. Mackedanz served with Charlie Company (Bandido Charlie), 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam.
Dell Allen (Bjerketvedt) - "Bullets And Bandages" - The true story of Dell's service as a Hospital Corpsman with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Dell served in Vietnam as a Navy Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman assigned Alpha Company, First Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
Bill Lunn - "Heart Of A Ranger" - The true story of CPL Ben Kopp, US Army Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. CPL Kopp was killed in action on 18 July 2009.
Veterans Day Observance 2016
The 2016 event took place on November 9th, 10th, and 11th at the War Memorial Auditorium in Willmar. Displays of thousands of military items from the Civil War through Modern Day and the history of hundreds of veterans was shared and available for public viewing. We had a great turnout over the three day event!
A Special Observance Program was held Wednesday, November 11th at 7:30pm. Mitch Schueler was the emcee for the event, with a special presentation to the family of Specialist Ryane Clark as a part of the program. SPC Clark was Killed in Action in Afghanistan in October 2010, and his family was presented his posthumous rank promotion as a part of the service. Special music was provided by the West Central Connection Chorus and youth members of the Community Christian Music Department.
For the first time since the inception of the Veterans Day Observance, USMHC founder Jon Lindstrand gave the addresss. Lindstrand shared his passion for military veterans and honoring their legacy with the large crowd in attendance. In a surprise presentation, the Daughters of the American Revolution presented Lindstrand with their DAR Medal of Honor as a part of the ceremony. It was an extreme honor for Lindstrand to have been recognized with this great award from such an outstanding organization.
Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall - Willmar
In the course of our nation's history brave young men and women have had to fight and sacrifice to keep America free and secure.
With great pride, we thank everyone for their support of the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall at Robbins Island in Willmar in 2016. Over 12,000 people came out to see this tribute to the fallen of the Vietnam War. USMHC in conjunction with the Veterans Central Council was a part of this special opportunity to remember those who sacrificed their all.
Decades ago millions of men and women were sent to Southeast Asia to fight a war in Vietnam, over 58,000 never returned. Their names forever enshrined in history.
A stark, vivid tribute to their service and sacrifice was created with the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC in the 1980's. Known as "The Wall That Heals" it has offered closure and solice to the millions who view it. Soon after, smaller traveling versions of this memorial began traveling the country offing that same solemn tribute.
The Traveling Wall visited central Minnesota the summer of 2016 in Willmar. Volunteers worked actively to bring this hallowed tribute to the region to honor those who have given their all in the service to this country.
The Wall was at Robbins Island Park in Willmar July 1, 2, 3, & 4th, 2016. It was sponsored by the Veterans Central Council, a 501c3 nonprofit organization comprised of members of the American Legion, VFW, and DAV clubs of Willmar. USMHC will provide a display of Vietnam items in conjuction with this event.
Veterans Day Observance 2015
The 2015 event took place on November 9th, 10th, and 11th back at the War Memorial Auditorium in Willmar. Displays of over 5,000 miltiary items from the Civil War through Modern Day and history of hundreds of veterans open and available for public viewing. We had a great turnout over the three day event!
A Special Observance Program was held Wednesday, November 11th at 7:30pm. The year's featured speaker was Commander Mitch Schueler, US Naval Reserve. Mitch has been active in the program for years, and we were honoerd to have Mitch give the Veteran's Day address. Special music was provided by the West Central Connection Chorus.
For more info on CDR Schueler, click here.
Veterans Day Observance 2014
The 2014 Veterans Day Observance was scheduled for November 10, 11 & 12 at the Kandi Mall Shopping Center. Due to the repairs happening at the War Memorial Auditorium in Willmar, the event was without a home until late September. Thanks to the Generousity of the Kandi Mall, they allowed for the use of the former K-Mart property to host the 2014 event.
The 2014 Veteran's Day Observance was a great success with around 1,300 attending this year. Thank you to all who braved the weather and checked it out! Special thanks to the Kandi Mall Shopping Center for allowing us to host it there!
A Special Observance Program was held the evening of November 11th, at 7:30 pm. The featured speaker for the event was Lieutenant Zack Liebl.
For more info on Lt. Liebl, click here.
The weather caused an issue and an extra day was added. Thank you to all who attended the event. Special thanks to the Blue Star Mothers of Mn Chapter 1, American Legion Auxilary Post 167, and the We Honor Vets Program from Rice Hospice for being a part of this event.
Veteran's Night with the Stingers:
The Willmar Stingers Baseball team, along with Central Lakes Coop & Uncommon USA once again hosted a special Veteran Night. USMHC had the opportunity to recommend 10 veterans for a special recognition during the pre-game for the July 2nd game in association with Kandiyohi County Veteran Services.
For full info, click here.
70th Anniversary - D-Day & John Anderson Memorial Service
70 years ago, on June 6th, 1944 thousands of Allied troops stormed the shores of Normandy for the liberation of France and eventually Europe from the clutches of Nazi control in WWII. One Kandiyohi County man, John Anderson, served there and was taken from us there.
On June 6th, 2014 a special Memorial service was held in Willmar Honoring John's service & sacrifice, but also the service of all who served in World War II.
For full info, click here.
For more info on John Anderson, click here.
Veterans Day Observance 2013
The 2013 Veterans Day Observance was a great success! Over 1,200 people attended the event. The featured speaker was Major General Gerald E. Lang - Assistant Deputy Commanding General - Army Materiel Command. We hope to see you at the 2014 event!
Thank you all who gave their time and energy making the 2013 event a success. Also, special thank you to those who made financial contributions for the purchase of a trailer for display fixtures.
For more info on MG Lang, click here.
Thunder Road Feature Film Awareness Drive
Thunder Road is a planned feature film by Astoria Entertainment about an OIF/OEF Veteran adjusting to coming home after war and dealing with PTSD. On 16 August Screenwriter and Actor Steven Grayhm and actor Matt Dallas traveled to Willimar to raise awareness about the subject of PTSD and the film. USMHC was asked to provide a small display for this event sponsored by AmVets post 214. A live outdoor concert was held with the Walking Phoenixes playing for the crowd.
For full info, click here.
Veterans Fishing Expo
On Saturday, May 18 USMHC was asked to attend the Veteran's Fishing Expo in Willmar at the National Guard Armory. The event was sponsored by the Elks Lodge #952 and all events were free to Veterans.
For more info, click here.
Veterans Day Observance 2012
The 2012 Veterans Day Observance Was a great success. Plans are already underway for the 2013 event. Mark your calendars now for November 11, 12, & 13, 2013. Thank you to all who helped with set up, school tours, and contributed to the collection.
For photos of the 2012 event, click here.
Stand & Salute honor event at the MN Twins
On July 27th I had the honor of being able to present the Stand & Salute Honor Award to a combat wounded veteran from Iraqi Freedom. I had nominated this individual for the award, and the presentation was held at Target Field prior to a Minnesota Twins Game.
For full info, click here.
Silver Star Presentation 2011
On Saturday, 12 November 2011, A program was held to honor Ron Mackedanz. Mackedanz served in Vietnam, and was be presented with the Silver Star for his actions in 1969 after 42 years.
For photos of the Silver Star Presentation, click here.
For more info on Ron Mackedanz, click here.
For Video of the Silver Star Presentation, click here.
Veterans Day Observance event friends:
Blue Star Mothers of America
Minnesota Chapter 1
Members of the Minnesota Blue Star Mothers of America organization have been on hand to share with all who attended the event what their organization does.