Sonja Faust speaks at MMAF event

Sonja Faust of Waconia, shown with her son, Colin, recently spoke at a special fundraiser for the Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund, a non-partisan, volunteer- run, non-profit organization whose mission is to say “thanks” to Minnesota military service members by providing cash grants to those who have served in a combat zone since Sept. 11, 2001. (Submitted photo)

Sonja Faust of Waconia, shown with her son, Colin, recently spoke at a special fundraiser for the Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund, a non-partisan, volunteer- run, non-profit organization whose mission is to say “thanks” to Minnesota military service members by providing cash grants to those who have served in a combat zone since Sept. 11, 2001. (Submitted photo)

Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund (MMAF) welcomed General Stanley McChrystal as its keynote speaker for a fundraising dinner held in Bloomington on Tuesday, April 16.
McChrystal served as chief of the Joint Special Operations Command from 2003-08, and as Commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 2009-10. He offered insight on counter-terrorism strategy and the U.S. withdrawal plan from Afghanistan.
Other speakers included Sonja Faust of Waconia, the mother of Colin Faust, a Marine who became an amputee while serving our country in Afghanistan, and Staff Sergeant Patrick Nelson of Eden Prairie, who served three tours of duty and received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the first-ever NFL-Tillman Military Scholar, where he received a $5,500 grant from MMAF.
The dinner raises money for MMAF, a non-partisan, volunteer-run, non-profit organization with a mission saying “thanks” to Minnesota military service members by providing cash grants to those who have served in a combat zone since Sept. 11, 2001. All of the funds raised at the dinner directly benefit MMAF, as event expenses will be underwritten by the main sponsor, Sit Investment Associates.
“We are honored to present one of the nation’s most respected military commanders to raise funds for our Minnesota troops,” said Roger Sit, Chairman of MMAF. “This is sure to be a wonderful evening in honor of our service members.”
Past keynote speakers include Senator John McCain, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, New York Times best-selling author and Minnesotan, Vince Flynn, television journalist and best-selling author, Tom Brokaw and most recently Medal of Honor recipient Colonel Jack Jacobs. All speakers have waived their talent fees and General McChrystal followed suit.
During her speech, Sonja talked about Colin’s journey in the Marines and how MMAF assisted the Fausts after Colin sustained his injury.
“Our family wants to thank each of you for sharing your time and gifts here tonight,” she told the crowd. “Please know what a blessing this organization is to not just the Faust family but to all Minnesota military families. Mrs. Karen Kelly, a very wise Marine wife and mother once told use that military families take on the sacrifice so others do not have to live with the worry, pain and despair that come along with it.
“Civilians may not experience the many sacrifices first-hand, but no one in America today or in the future forget those sacrifices or fail to respect those who serve our great country,” she continued. “Your support tonight is very much recognized and appreciated.”

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