Military appreciation day at the state fair

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Women who served are the focus of the State Fair's Military Appreciation Day

It's day six; halfway home

August 28, 2018 - 11:54 am

The 2018 Minnesota State Fair reaches its halfway point on Tuesday with Military Appreciation Day.

This year, they're honoring women who served in the military.

During a ceremony under drizzly skies, keynote speaker and Viet Nam veteran Kay Bauer said women vets still have to overcome stereotypes.

"We feel that a lot of times we are invisible," she said. "I have a license plate (on my car) that says I'm a Viet Nam vet. When I get out, people say to me 'please thank your husband for his service.'"

Viet Nam veteran Kate Bauer

Bauer is a retired nurse and served 35 years in the US Navy, on both active duty and in the Navy Reserve.

In Viet Nam, Bauer was one of seven members of a forward surgical team.

"There was no running water, no electricity at the hospital," she said. 

There are more than 2,500 women in the Minnesota National Guard, and Bauer said that shows how much more opportunities are available for women in the military.

"Much, much moreso than there have ever been in the past," she said. "There are problems, but you just need to remember that it's like every place else. Things go on."

Gov. Dayton also spoke at the ceremony, honoring the late Senator John McCain.

Dayton called McCain a true American hero and patriot.