2019 Legacy Awardees
U.S. Army, St. Cloud
Clyde Lewandowski was drafted into the Army and spent six months in Vietnam where his unit helped at two orphanages. When Clyde returned home, as most other soldiers do, he stuffed everything away for over 30 years and then, when the memories started coming back, he decided to do something good rather than be angry with the past. That is when he decided to help the children at orphanages in Vietnam. This program will help you understand how one ex-soldier is surviving the peace.
U.S. Air Force, St. Paul
George Colburn enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly after graduating from Cretin High School. While stationed at Clark Air Force Base outside of Angeles City, Philippines, he had several assignments in Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam. His poem, “Peace with Honor (Cam Rahn Bay, Christmas, 1971)” is collected online in Minnesota Remembers Vietnam – The Story Wall. George has published two books of poetry, been published in numerous literary journals, and regularly reads his poetry at venues around the Twin Cities. His work is strongly influenced by the deaf community and interpreting between his deaf parents and the larger world. George lives in St. Paul with his wife of 39 years. He has two daughters and one grandson.
U.S. Army, Golden Valley
Larry Johnson earned a broadcast degree from the U of M before serving as a conscientious objector, unarmed medic during the Vietnam Conflict. Upon returning home, he spent over 20 years teaching storytelling and video in Minneapolis schools. Larry is the recipient of the Action Children’s TV National Achievement Award and the Grand Prize for International Video Exchange at the Tokyo Video Festival. Larry works tirelessly on behalf of Veteran care and making the world less violent for his 13 grandchildren. He is a past President of Veterans for Peace, author of the book, “SIXTY-ONE,” a volunteer with Veteran Resilience Project, and an organizer World Storytelling Day.
Ret. Col. Laura Ludwig
U.S. Army, Plymouth
Ret. Col. Laura Ludwig began her military career in 1975 by enlisting in the Army National Guard. After basic training, she completed specialty training to serve as a field medic and operating room specialist. She worked as a certified surgical technician while attending nursing school and received a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Minnesota. Col. Ludwig mobilized to active duty for deployments in 2003, 2006, and 2009-10. In July 2011, she retired after more than 36 years of military service.
2019 On the Rise Awardees
U.S. Army, Minneapolis
Jessi Faue is an Army Veteran in the Michigan Army National Guard. In 2005, she deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and stayed on active duty at Fort Riley, KS before being medically discharged. Jessi is an activist for Veterans, women Veterans, and mental health. A registered nurse with a background in mental and public health, she is an Outreach and Education Specialist for Suicide Prevention at the Minneapolis VA and a board member of the DAV Women’s Committee. Jessi live in Minneapolis with her three daughters.
U.S. Army, Mounds View
Jessica Kieran served in the U.S. Army from 2007-2015. An emerging writer with a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Hamline University, she was an Honorable Mention from the Loft’s 2018 Mirrors and Windows Fellowship. She is proud to have explored her identity not only as a writer but also a biracial adoptee, pansexual Christian, disabled Veteran, and a mental illness fighter. Jessica’s writing explores emotional, physical, and mental pain, as well as what strength means, which includes scrutinizing societal expectations and norms.
Kendra Vande Kamp
U.S. Army, Rochester
Kendra Vande Kamp joined the Minnesota Army National Guard in 2011, deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and was honorably discharged in 2015. In 2018, she started Female Veteran of the Week, a photojournalism series highlighting and honoring women Veterans for their service. Kendra was named Chair of the state DAV Women Veterans Committee in May of 2019. She is the mother to two amazing daughters and an amazing step-daughter.
U.S. Army, Roseville
Kristin Anderson grew up in Virginia surrounded by history and the military. In 1997, she moved with her family to Minnesota where she would later attend college. Kristin enlisted with the U.S. Army shortly after graduation. After basic training, she served as an automated logistical specialist in Hawaii. Throughout her service, Kristin spent many days writing and placing her thoughts into words.
U.S. Air Force, Maple Lake
Suzanne Krasnow is a retired Master Sergeant who served in the U.S. Air Force from June 1999-November 2015. During her more than 16-year Air Force career, Suzanne worked in ground-based and airborne communications platforms, where she supported intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. In 2010, Suzanne trained with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in counter-intelligence investigations. She deployed multiple times in support of both Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Suzanne was forced into medical retirement in 2015 due to neurological disorder related to her service.