MPR News with Angela Davis

Thanking and remembering veterans

people gather in the Capitol Rotunda
Minnesota Veterans from different generations gathered in the Capitol Rotunda for Veterans Day on the Hill on March 30.
Matthew Alvarez | MPR News

Have you ever given any thought to what we mean when we say to a military veteran, “Thank you for your service”?  

What do veterans hear when that phrase greets them in public, or in private?  

The nature of service is complicated. It can be inspiring, life defining and sometimes traumatic. 

Listen back to a conversation MPR News host Angela Davis had with veterans on Veterans Day in 2021 about what we mean when we thank veterans for their service and about their sometimes complicated relationships with their military experience.  


  • Tom McKenna is a veteran of the Iraq War and a veterans advocate with Every Third Saturday, a nonprofit supporting veterans in Minnesota.  

  • Eli Reding is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with veterans in his practice.  

  • Brad Lindsay is the temporary commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Plus, we are happy to share the audio documentary “DeCoded: Native Veterans in Minnesota Who Helped Win World War II” about the Ojibwe and Dakota speakers who were recruited by the U.S. military to transmit encrypted battlefield messages.

The half-hour documentary is hosted by Travis Zimmerman and produced by Ampers, an association of 18 independent community radio stations in Minnesota.

Historically, Native veterans serve in the military at a higher rate per capita than any other ethnic group in the United States. As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month this month, we also recognize and honor the contributions of Native veterans.

graphic with words decoded untold stories of Native veterans in Minnesota
Courtesy image

 Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.  

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.