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CAPITOL CHATTER: Veterans honor guards face challenges; members are aging, dwindling

Published 11/12/2011, Forum Communications Co.

Minnesotans thanked veterans Friday, but one of their most-desired honors needs an act of the Legislature and younger blood. Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito said that many ex-military personnel have two major requests: a bronze marker at their grave denoting their veteran status and an American flag on their casket. Honor guards, which handle flag duties, were endangered when state officials forgot to include continued funding in their budget requests, so Gov. Mark Dayton and Shellito found the needed funds on a temporary basis. Now, they pledge to ask the Legislature to appropriate honor guard funding so it is more stable.

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