Two Minnesota companies recognized for helping military veterans

On Veterans Day, Gov. Dayton is expected to recognize Richfield-based Best Buy for its Operation Patriotic Endeavor program. The program assembles and sends care packages to military service members deployed overseas. More than 600 Best Buy employees have put together 3,300 care packages to be shipped to the 34th Infantry Division of the Minnesota National Guard, which is currently deployed in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

The governor and Major General Richard C. Nash, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, will present the Yellow Ribbon Award to Best Buy. The award recognizes businesses for their commitment to supporting military employees and local communities.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp has also been honored for its programs intended to help veterans. The company recently announced plans to double its military hiring in 2012. Beginning next year, U.S. Bank will offer employees up to two weeks paid leave to cover time they would otherwise take off unpaid, per state or federal law, in connection with a family member’s military service. The time can be taken not only with the deployment of a child, parent or spouse, but may be available to extended family as well.

As of October, the company reports it employed 1,643 veterans and/or members of the guard/reserve. More than 200 have been hired this year alone.

U.S. Bank’s commitment to current and former members of the military and their families also earned the company “Yellow Ribbon” status this year. And Military Times magazine named U.S. Bank as one of just 46 companies in their Best of Vets 2011 annual survey. Over 1,000 firms were surveyed for their recruiting, policies for reservists and overall corporate culture pertaining to the military.

The ceremony honoring Best Buy is scheduled for Friday from 2 to 3 p.m.

on the Best Buy campus.

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