Representing the Minnesota Humanities Center, Samuel Verdeja was in Montevideo this Tuesday, speaking with city officials about a new project: the 25 Veterans’ Voices Award.
“We want to build on the success of communities working to engage veterans,” Verdeja said.
The Minnesota Humanities Center is looking for nominations from around the state of veterans who have made, “exceptional contributions to the community in business, health care, public safety, education, the arts, government or any other endeavor which merits recognition.”
Verdeja, a Vietnam veteran, said he personally understands the value of the project.
“We didn’t have the resources we have now,” he said. “We don’t want the veterans o today to have the same problems we had coming home.”
The mission of the project is to honor Minnesota veterans and their experiences through the humanities by bringing their knowledge, skills and values to Minnesota, and to provide a stage for the future of Minnesota’s veterans to share their stories.
The hope is to make the award an annual one, and to use it as a point from which more veteran opportunities can begin.
Verdeja said anyone can nominate a veteran, and that the requirements are that the veteran is 40 years or younger, that they were honorable discharged, and that they served in the United States military.
“I really want Montevideo to nominate some veterans. I want at least one to walk away with that recognition,” Verdeja said.