Happy Veterans Day from The Salvation Army Northern Division

Nov 10, 2021

The Salvation Army Northern Division is proud to salute our brave men and women in uniform on Veterans Day.

Our gratitude for veterans is on display year-round through the wide range of programs that your donations allow us to offer in Minnesota and North Dakota – including veteran housing, basic needs assistance, rehabilitation, counseling, and more.

In the Twin Cities, for example, The Salvation Army operates two supportive housing complexes for veterans (pictured). The veterans can stay up to two years while Salvation Army caseworkers help them stabilize, find employment, and secure permanent housing. Additional support is provided by the nearby VA Medical Center.

A similar program exists at The Salvation Army in St. Cloud, Minn., whose 69-bed homeless shelter includes several rooms reserved specifically for veterans. 

This program recently helped a U.S. Marine Corps veteran named John (pictured) to find housing and start his life over. He had been teaching world history at Florida State University for 12 years before a string of tragic events left him homeless.  

“If not for The Salvation Army, I don’t know what would have happened to me,” said John, choking back tears. (Read John’s story.)

History of Service

The Salvation Army has a long history of supporting veterans, starting in the 1910s during World War I, when female Salvation Army volunteers called “Donut Girls” served American soldiers battling on the frontlines. The Donut Girls made and served thousands of donuts a day for U.S. troops, while also praying with the soldiers, helping them write letters, mending their clothes, and more.

By the end of World War II, The Salvation Army operated more than 200 “Red Shield Club” centers across the U.S. for veterans to enjoy food, activities, and fellowship.  

Twin Cities resident Donald Severson (pictured), 91, remembers frequenting a Red Shield Club in New England while he was training to become a Coast Guard Yeoman in 1951. 

“That place felt like home,” Donald recalled. “The (officers) who operated the club were like a mother and father to me. I’ve been supporting The Salvation Army ever since.”

Today, The Salvation Army is privileged to continue serving veterans and honoring them for the sacrifices they’ve made.  

“Happy Veterans Day to the men and women who serve our country and protect our freedom – you are heroes,” said Lt. Col. Dan Jennings, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. 

Please join The Salvation Army in serving those in crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.

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