'Doughnut Girls' honor veterans At Department of Administration

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Dozens of doughnuts, gallons of coffee and “Doughnut Girls” greeted employees Thursday as they entered the Department of Administration. They were all part of the commemoration honoring Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

The tribute was organized by the Dept. of Administration’s Veterans Study Group for Policy and Leadership, which is chaired by Russell Schreyer, Local 701’s membership secretary and a steward.   

Russell Schreyer -- vets day

In the photo on the right, from left to right, Department of Administration Assistant Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis and Information Officer Julie Nelsen admire Local 701's Russell Schreyer's Navy memorabilia.

This is the second year the study group greeted employees with coffee, doughnuts and a military display in honor of Veterans Day. “We set up tables of Navy memorabilia and Army gear last year. People were four deep at times and very interested,” Schreyer said.

This year’s special guests, the “Doughnut Girls,” were a nod to the infamous women of the Salvation Army who volunteered to support the troops on the front lines during the Great War by making doughnuts and reminding soldiers of home.

Vets day -- doughnut girls

In the photo on the right, from left to right, Salvation Army's Jessica Raboin and Kendra Brown dress as "Doughnut Girls" to commemorate the end of World War I a century ago.

Schreyer followed family tradition by serving in the Navy 1984-2001. His active duty years, 1984-1988, were spent stationed in Virginia aboard the state's namesake ship the USS Virginia, a missile cruiser, and deployed overseas to the Mediterranean.

He said, joking, “Whenever else is some kid from rural Minnesota going to be able to see the pyramids?” 

Schreyer said back in 1984, “It was normal to go into the service. A good friend joined the Marine Corps, others joined the Navy.”

On Veterans Day, Schreyer urges Minnesotans “to do the best they can to respect the sacrifices made. Remember at times that veterans need help, too, and we need to do more of that and bring them into the fold.”

Schreyer said he sees similarities between his union and military services. “I think the comradery, that team spirit -- there is no union with one person. That’s like the military a little bit, you work as a team.”

The Veterans Study Group for Policy and Leadership was created to ensure the voices of veterans are heard and to highlight select policies to measure their effectiveness on the veterans’ community.

“Our veterans’ group is very progressive and has great ideas. Members address the needs of veterans and know what they want to accomplish,” Administration Assistant Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis said.

The study group worked with agency leaders to guarantee veterans a 10 percent discount on food and beverages served in the cafeteria. Members are also working on preference parking in agency lots and ramps for veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart and higher medals. The group is also backing the agency’s holiday support of Second Harvest Heartland food bank and plans are underway to support the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program in the future.