Featuring Our Own:
Todd County Veteran's Services:
347 Central Avenue Suite 5
Long Prairie, MN 56347
Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 pm
Veterans Service officer:
Pete Berscheit- (320) 732-4419
FAX: (320) 732-2011
Assistant Veterans Service Officer:
Teresa Sorenson - 320-533-4633
Tina Riedel - 320-732-4418
Website: Veteran's Services (click on red)
Teresa Sorenson, Tina Riedel and Pete Berscheit
Veteran's Services is here to help
Local office assists veterans of the
armed forces in anyway it can
By Taylor Lunemann, Staff Writer for
the Long Prairie Leader
(Thank you Taylor for writing this article!)
In 2016, there was no shortage of politicians in the news stating how taking care of this country’s veterans was a main focus of their campaign during their election circuit. Some follow through with their claims, of course, but some may not.
In Todd County, there is a dependable group that area veterans can always count on. Pete Berscheit, Teresa Sorenson, and Tina Riedel make up the county’s Veteran’s Services office in Long Prairie, and are available to aid veterans in any way they can.
A good chunk of what they do at the office is working with disability claims and getting veterans into the VA medical centers, but Berscheit called their office a “one-stop shop” for veteran’s benefits.
Veterans come in with a wide variety of questions or concerns, and the office is always available to help in any way possible. Having veterans working in the office is an added bonus.
“I was in the Army for 20 years, and I think that is really important in the duties of the job because it gives you a base understanding of what you go through, not just through training, but some of the things you have to deal with when you’re deployed,” said Berscheit, who was deployed to Iraq for three six-month stints.
Sorenson was in the Army for three years and in the National Guard for seven. Her husband was also in the Army. She knows as well as anyone the challenges of raising a family while serving, and that experience has already proved to be helpful when working with veterans.
Pete Berscheit, Veterans Service officer
“Being in the army, and also being a mom, there are different programs that I can associate with because toward the end of my husband’s retirement, it was my job as a spouse to help these other wives,” Sorenson explained. “The good thing about the Army is that they provide really good programs for deployment and for the spouse. You just have to know the programs.”
Teresa Sorenson, Assistant Veterans Service Officer
The office in Long Prairie may not be able to personally take care of all the needs veterans come in with, but they will work tirelessly to find a solution to a problem. Berscheit pointed to a huge binder of contacts for various organizations, agencies, or programs to call.
“I don’t have to know everything, I just need to know who to call and what book to look in,” he said. “If you come in with a problem and you’re a veteran, I’m going to try to help you fix your problem.”
He has done plenty of that over the years. Just at this office, they have helped with thousands of claims and recovered millions of dollars in disability claims.
“Our office has done over $180 million in the last 12 years, and we’re just a little office,” Berscheit noted. “We’re not a big, fancy lawyer. We just do what we got to do. We try to help people.”
Another thing the office provides is van shuttles to the Minneapolis VA on even number days, and to the St. Cloud VA on odd number days. They also work to solve several cases of homeless veterans. And it goes deeper than simply sending a bit of money their way.
Administrative Assistant: Tina Riedel
“A lot of times when someone is homeless, there’s other things going on,” Berscheit said. “Too often, people’s perception is that if they had a little bit of money, they would be okay. But there’s many other layers affecting the reason they’re homeless.”
The Veteran’s Services office is supported by the county, and while Berscheit noted he has the support of the commissioners, donations go a long way to helping support area veterans. Donations come in many forms, including: money, vans, hospital beds, canes, wheelchairs, and several other items.
Sorenson, who also works at the Staples office every Tuesday, does a lot of outreach programs and home visits, something she says is one of her favorite parts of the job.
“I like being out there and doing the outreach and home visits,” she said. “It’s new and challenging and every veteran is different. And I don’t only think about the veterans, but about their families and kids. There’s counseling services for families too.”
The Veteran’s Services office is undoubtedly a valuable resource for area veterans, but Berscheit encourages people to help fellow neighbors in any way possible.
“There’s a lot of good people out there that are helping veterans that people don’t even know about. And it’s as simple as checking on that older neighbor next door because his wife has been gone the last 10 years,” he said. “Sooner or later, we’re all going to need help. If you’re able to provide it, help somebody, whether they’re a veteran or not.”
Walking Trails in Long Prairie
History of Long Prairie
Chamber Director: Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst
Chamber Office Hours:
Please contact me at (320) 732-2514.
I am in and out of the office a lot, so please call before coming or take your chances.
Location: @ the LP Library 42 3rd Street North
Thought for the Day
What can you do to promote world peace?
Go home and love your family. Mother Teresa
Upcoming Chamber & Community Events
SNAP Fitness - SILVER AND FIT,
PLATNUM BLUE AND SILVER SNEAKERS MEMBERS
Your chance to win $$$
SNAP wants you healthy so by coming to gym at least once a week for the months of February, March and April you are able to enter in a drawing for $200.00 each time you visit the gym your name goes into the drawing.
Drawing held April 28th, 2017
Rainbow Rider Ride to Sauk Centre- EVERY THURSDAY
$10.00 round trip
Departure 10:30am from Long Prairie
Arrival 1:30pm back in Long Prairie
For more information click here: Rainbow Rider Ride
1-800 450 7770
Senior Center - 320 732-2282
Weekly activities :
Wednesdays 10:30am Wii games
Fridays 1pm card/board games
Third Tuesday – Music jam
Smart Driver classes- starting in March- see Event Calendar
Click - Long Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce Event
Career Interest Sessions in April (see pdf)
Organized by Amy Dinkel-VanValkenburg
Program Manager, Adult Basic Education
TODAY: Registration: Mama Marlas
The t-shirt deadline is April 26th
Mama Marla's Hike it or Bike it and the registration form is on the website.- see above. May 20th - Race day registration is from 9-9:55am. There is also a 15.2-mile bike ride at 10am. Stick around for the spaghetti feed after the races.
This is the "Last Hoooorah"..., come help Mama Marla break the participant record that was set this last year...they had 130+ participants in 2016.
Educational Tours (arranged by the Todd County Historical Society)
NW Fur Post and Concert Johnny Cash at Mid-Country Theatre- SANDSTONE TOUR
Thursday, June 22, 2017-
** Call for more information 320-732-4426
Therese The Story of a Soul- Saint Luke Productions Presents
An inspiring live drama performed by Audrey Ahern
Directed by Patti Defilippis / www.theresedrama.com
Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00pm
St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church 409 Central Ave Long Prairie, MN 56347
Admission: Free-Will Offering
Suitable for ALL ages
Information: St. Mary of Mr Carmel Church Office 320.357.0815
Pregnancy Resource Center- Annual Fundraising Banquet
April 27, 2017 6:30pm @ St. Mary's of Mt. Carmel
Leading the Flock- Auction & Dinner
Friday, April 28th @ the VFW
Silent Auction starts at 5:30pm
Dinner at 6pm
SEE BELOW for more info
Would you like to help with the mosaic project?
The mosaic will be made with the help of elementary and high school students, senior citizens and other local area community members. This mosaic is meant to bring many types of people in our community together to work on a collaborative project that will include over 200 area residents and that will beautify the Lake Charlotte beach building. Dates for creating the mosaic are now set in March and April.
All are welcome to participate in creating the mosaic.
Please join us at the Senior Citizens Center on Friday, April 28th 2017 – 9:30am-11:30
...or at the Long Prairie Library on Saturday, April 29th 2017 – 10:00am-11:30am. Limit 10 at the library.
Preregistration is required at both locations. RSVP for the Senior Citizen Center at email@example.com or call Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst at the Chamber (320) 732-2514. For the library event, RSVP at the library or call (320) 732- 2332
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
April 29th @ City Hall in Long Prairie
10am-12pm - NO NEEDLES, NO LIQUIDS
Concert: Sing Out Strong- Hope not Hate!
Paul Baker-Hernandez, one time hermit monk now cultural troubadour
A unique blend of beautiful, powerful music, profound analysis and inspiring projects, based of 50 years; of the USA, the UK & Nicaragua
Concert @ Peace United Church
Saturday, April 29, 2017 1pm
April 29, 2017
Grand March 5:30pm
Discover & Decide- Alexandria Technical & Community College
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Campus Tours 10:15am-11:45am
For more information: www.alextech.edu/discover
@ First Baptist Church 10am-3pm
April 29, 2017
OPEN HOUSE- WIlliam Dingman Funeral Home
2:00-5pm - April 30th
@ Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Homes
Cinco de Mayo
May 5, 2017
5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the LP-GE High School Commons.
Free authentic Mexican meal, comedy juggling act, delicious Mexican cake, Maypole dancing, children’s games, fire trucks, information tables, pop corn . . .
MORE CALENDAR EVENTS: Click - Long Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce Event Calendar
Welcome New 2017 Chamber Members !
Todd County Veteran Services Office (February)
Red's Irish Pub (January)
Little Falls Radio Inc (January)
Jim's Auto Repair (January)
Menagerie Greens, Inc (January)
Dreams United/Sueños Unidos (January)
Alexandria Technical & Community College (January)
Central Lakes College (January)
Thank you, also, to all of you who have renewed your membership!
We appreciate you and could not do this without you!
NEW- Small Business Consultants Listing!
Independent Solutions of MN - Janet Byland (September 2016)
Order Chamber Bucks to support local businesses
click here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Electronic Sign Use and Fees Schedule
Please click the link above to download our Sign Use Policy and Fee Schedule. If you would like to use the sign (either as a Chamber Member or as a non-member) please fill out the last page of the form and enclose any payment (non-member) for use of the sign and return to the Chamber office. Thank you.
Want More Information on Community Gardens? Call City Hall 320 732-2167 Follow this link for photos and more information about the Community Gardens.
Click on the Made in Minnesota photo to learn more about products and suppliers who are right here in Minnesota!