Hy-Vee and the Vikings are proud to sincerely thank five veterans for their service through the 2023 Veterans Voyage program.
Army Lt. Col. Randy Kastberg, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Chris Mogen, Army Staff Sgt. David Hammac, Army Spc. Shantia (Tia) Hutchinson and Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Lyons were selected for this year's Veterans Voyage.
The group convened at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center ahead of embarking for Washington, D.C., a sentimental and special trip the weekend before Veterans Day.
The veterans and their guests toured monuments by moonlight on Friday before visiting Arlington National Cemetery Saturday. On Nov. 5, they participated in a watch party for Minnesota's game at Atlanta.
"This is an unbelievable opportunity for us to give back to the veterans, just a small piece that Hy-Vee can do with the Vikings to help sponsor the Hy-Vee Veterans Voyage," said Hy-Vee Vice President of Sports Marketing Matt Nickell.
This past Sunday, the veterans attended the Vikings 27-19 win over the Saints when Minnesota hosted its annual Salute to Service home game and were presented with free groceries for a year from Hy-Vee.
Kastberg's 24 years of service included deployments to Kosovo (2003-04) and Iraq (2005-07 and 2011-12). The first deployment to Iraq lasted 23 months.
He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and 2 Bronze Stars.
Mogen followed his father's service by joining the Air Force at age 18 and served 37 years, eventually earning the rank of E9 Chief Master Sergeant. Mogen's service included two tours to Afghanistan, one to Qatar and one to Oman.
The father of five and grandfather of 10 has been a volunteer firefighter in Lakeville for 20 years.
Hammac, whose grandfather served in World War II, and his father served in Vietnam, continued his family's legacy of service by joining the Army after high school. He completed three tours of duty in Iraq, earning a Bronze Star with Valor after enduring a 30-minute fire fight while stationed in Fallujah.
Hutchinson's seven years of service included assignment to the 82nd Airborne Division, earning jump wings, and a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a wheeled vehicle mechanic.
Lyons enlisted in the Air Force on Nov. 13, 1970, and he was deployed to Cam Rahn Bay in South Vietnam, serving five years.
Forty years after first enlisting, Lyons founded Minnesota Military Radio, a weekly one-hour public affairs program he hosts to recognize members of the military. Lyons has produced more than 600 episodes, generating remote broadcasts in Kuwait, Norway, Camp Ripley and the Norfolk Navy Base.