“Women Veterans Unite” was the theme of a retreat for veteran women conducted May 3-5 at The Lodge at Giants Ridge, Biwabik.

Beth Johnson and Kathryn Sikkila of Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary to Post 2948 were among about 50 in attendance. The number of women had doubled at the second annual retreat.

The retreat was sponsored by the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, United States Veterans Initiative, and through many other donations from across Minnesota.

The weekend consisted of several speakers, including Veterans Administration outreach specialist Jeanine Solberg; Ret. Maj. John Donovan on Central Minnesota Remembers Vietnam; and Pippi Mayfield spoke on recording our history.

Johnson and Sikkila reported they quickly learned they were new members to the northeastern Minnesota women veterans group and members of the “tribe.”

Activities included yoga, aqua aerobics, a session on Essential Oils, karaoke, metal bracelet stamping, pallet painting and a radio program.

The locals stated the weekend was filled with laughter, tears and stories, and connecting with other veterans. An honor and privilege to attend, they hope to go next year to reconnect with new women veterans.

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