Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 11/9

Nov 9, 2012 Issues: Veterans


Minnesota soldier returns home
Pictured here:  U.S. Army Sgt. Mike Peterson and his wife | Brooklyn Park Armory
Alpha Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion
Iraq: 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Divison
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army's photostream

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we honor our Nation's heroes as we recognize Veterans Day.  There will be a number of events taking place throughout the Seventh District on this important day, and this week's newsletter will acknowledge the work of two Civil War historians at Benson City Cemetery.  As Congress returns to session next week, I am already encouraging my colleagues to get the job done on the Farm Bill and finish what we started.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Veterans Day: Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday, November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day

This is a day to reflect and give thanks to those who have served the United States of America. I would like to honor our Nation's veterans. Their dedication and courage to protect America's freedoms should never go unnoticed or unappreciated.

Veterans Day provides us with an opportunity to recognize the enormous accomplishments and the great sacrifices that the veterans of our Nation, both past and present, have made. Veterans Day is also a day of peace; peace made possible through the valiant efforts of these American patriots.

The entrance to my office building in Washington is lined with the names of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom

Since its founding, the United States has fought in 11 major wars and many smaller conflicts. During these periods of conflict, more than 50 million Americans have served in our military forces. Their courageous deeds have helped to ensure that democracy and freedom prevail in this country, and throughout the world.

I have always had tremendous respect for the debt that we as a Nation owe to our veterans.  Over the last four years alone, I have been an advocate for many pieces of legislation on behalf of our soldiers and veterans.  I supported an expansion of the Post 9-11 GI Bill so we can ensure that our vets have access to a full, four-year college education.  I also helped strengthen health care for over 5 million veterans and improve access for rural veterans as well as those who suffer from the all-too-common symptoms of PTSD.  Finally, I've made sure that troops and veterans have the benefits that they've earned and the resources they need both overseas and when they return home to their families.

It is important to remember all who have served our Nation. Minnesota's Seventh Congressional district is home to over 50,000 veterans. Each of us owes a deep debt of gratitude to our veterans, and to the men and women serving in our Armed Forces. I am proud to join with my fellow Minnesotans, and the people of this great Nation, as we pay tribute to those brave Americans who have defended this country and safeguarded our future.

Pictured above is the award I received from the Minnesota V.F.W in recognition of my work in Congress on behalf of Minnesota Veterans

Historians Honor Civil War Soldiers in Benson City Cemetery

Tom Rice and Rob Wolfington are two Civil War historians that conduct tours of the gravesites of Civil War soldiers at the Benson City Cemetery in Swift County.  This year they are providing tours on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11 at 1 pm.  They also made a presentation today to the seventh grade class of Benson that is studying American History. 

The picture below was taken during the All School Reunion when several students dressed the part of wives, mothers, and soldiers

Rice and Wolfington have collected stories and pictures of the veterans' lives that they share with participants.  One soldier named Joseph Eaton enlisted in First Minnesota Infantry Regiment but was soon wounded and released from duty.  Eaton re-enlisted and was sent to Gettysburg where he was wounded twice, once in the leg and once in the abdomen, and then released.  Despite his previous injuries, he re-entered into the Eleventh Infantry Regiment of Minnesota and was working on a guard house when a timber fell on his back injuring him and he was finally released for good.  Eaton went on to become a doctor and started the first drug store in Benson.  That business is still going strong today.  Many of these veterans went on to become leading citizens, mayors and other elected officials of their communities. 

Each of the graves now has a Civil War marker.  At one point Rice and Wolfington identified three graves that had no markers, and they proceeded to order them and then personally paid for the placement of those markers.  There is also one Confederate gravesite that was found in the Appleton Cemetery.

Both men are Past President of the Twin Cities Civil War Roundtable.  It is a great thing that they do honoring our heroes in this way, and I congratulate them on their efforts.

Time to Finish the Farm Bill

With the election over and members of Congress coming back to Washington next week it’s time to get to work. I’m optimistic that, if given the chance, we have the votes to pass the Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan five-year farm bill in the House. There is no good reason not to vote on the bill before Thanksgiving. This will give us the time we need to work out our differences with the Senate and get a new five-year farm bill signed into law by the end of the year. I remain opposed to an extension of any kind for any time.

November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month

While planning household finances, it’s important to think about long-term care for family and loved ones. Long-term care (LTC) is a range of services and supports to meet health or personal needs over a long period of time. These services may include emergency response systems, senior centers, assisted living, nursing homes, transportation services, or more.  Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes. And it’s not just for seniors—if a person has a significant health challenge, he or she may need long-term care at any age.  Be sure to take some time this month to check out your options and plan ahead, so you know that you and your family can get the care you need. And if you’re a caregiver now for a family member with health challenges, you can find more resources and support from