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Minnesota National Guard
Women Vets honored at golf tournament

“The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten,” said President Calvin Coolidge

Long before women could vote, women have held vital supporting roles in America’s military over the last century

To recognize these important and often forgotten members of the armed forces, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed June 18th as Minnesota Women Veterans Day 

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Gov Dayton said "It is right and proper to honor, remember and thank these patriots for their service and sacrifice," about Minnesota Women Veterans Day

In conjunction with this historic proclamation, women veterans were recognized during the inaugural Teeing It Up for Our Women Veterans Golf Tournament at The Wilds Golf Course in Prior Lake, Minn  The event gathered friends, family and women veterans from around the state and raised nearly twenty thousands dollars for Minnesota programs who specifically support and assist women veterans in Minnesota 

“As a fellow veteran, I would like to recognize and thank all for those women veterans present today, as well as those who couldn’t be here,” said Minnesota’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Command Sgt Maj Cynthia Kallberg 

“Thank you for your courage, perseverance, bravery and desire to serve your country … thank you for blazing the trails that allow me to stand before you as Minnesota’s first female state sergeant major, for I am acutely aware that this privilege was won by the honorable service and outstanding sacrifices of many generations of women veterans,” said Kallberg to the attendees and participants of this event

There were over 80 participants in the tournament and almost half of the women who played were veterans  Women have served in military conflicts from the Revolutionary War and WWI to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom  Women make up only 15% of our nation’s armed forces and in Minnesota over 23,000 women have served 

This event and supporting the troops is near to my heart; my nephew is in the Army and has done seven overseas tours … I am very proud to be a part of this event, said tournament participant Mary Thesenga 

“Women have never been honored in the way that they should,” said Mary, who also has a cousin in the Air Force and plans on playing in another Teeing it Up for the Troops event later this summer

“Happy ‘women veteran’s day’ today and thank you Gov Dayton for ensuring these heroes are not forgotten” said Kallberg

June 18, 2012
Story and photos by Staff Sgt Lynette Hoke
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

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