At noon on Thursday, July 11, the Garrison VFW hosted the Minnesota Military Radio program as the show recorded it 475th episode on location. As part of the show’s usual programming, which focuses on promoting veterans’ issues and telling the stories across all eras, volunteer host Tom Lyons interviewed post commander Ray Lasher, Garrison Mayor Loren Larson, Garrison VFW Women’s Auxiliary President Daisy Timm and auxiliary member Jackie Lundquist, along with Jim Parent and Kathryn Stotka speaking on behalf of the Gold Star Family Weekend in Brainerd. While a number of locals were able to bear witness to the show that Thursday, the show will be publicly broadcast this weekend.
It was Lundquist who helped set the event up, as she is cousins with show host Lyons. She explained that she has been speaking with him for years about the possibility of hosting the show at the Garrison VFW, and schedules had finally allowed for the Thursday broadcast.
Beth Barstow, Minnesota Military Radio producer and public affairs director for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, said that Minnesota Military Radio has been broadcasting for almost nine years. The show first came to be when Lyons, who is involved in other radio work, came together with executives from iHeartRadio, then called Clear Channel. The executives were interested in creating military-focused programming. The show is currently created in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Guard, and the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization.
Minnesota Military Radio is a public affairs show broadcast on the weekends on 55 stations across the state. iHeartRadio helped fund the show, Barstow said, also supplying the show with studio space and engineers. Barstow stated the show covers veterans’ issues, including highlighting available benefits for veterans, and invites veterans on the show to share their stories. With commercials, every episode contains roughly one hour of content.
The show is broadcast from community VFWs a few times each year, Barstow added. Last December, the show was broadcast from the American Legion post in Osseo. “It’s a rare opportunity for us to get out and do this,” she said.
Those interested in listening to Thursday’s show, which featured an interview with Lasher on the post’s history and conversation with Mayor Larson on upcoming events, can tune into any station broadcasting the show this Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14. A full list of stations and times is available at minnesotamilitaryradiohour.com/about. A recording of the day’s show will also be available in podcast format by the end of the weekend. A list of available podcast platforms is available at minnesotamilitaryradiohour.com/podcast.