Statement: U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn was a friend to veterans of Minnesota and will be missed

Attributable to Department Commander Tom Fernlund

Feb. 18, 2022

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died Thursday at 59 after a long battle with kidney cancer.

Hagedorn was a strong supporter of veterans. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment for veterans went without much fanfare. He worked with the Mayo Clinic to get it to sign on with the VA Care in the Community Act. Many residents in the 1st District have no other options for health care than the Mayo’s system of hospitals and clinics, and Mayo participating reduces veteran drive times.

The congressman also was a cosponsor of the bipartisan TEAM Act, which created a pathway to benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins while serving. He was a cosponsor of the PAWS Act, pairing service dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD.

Hagedorn came to many American Legion posts and National Guard armories and had a reputation for being there, among the people of his district supporting the military and veteran communities.

Most recently, Hagedorn was pushing the Pentagon to protect the mission of the 133rd Airlift Wing and its C-130s. And he was working to help the Minnesota State University, Mankato, Aviation School become G.I. Bill-eligible.

Hagedorn was unable to attend the Caleb Erickson Memorial Run because he was battling cancer, but he made sure to send staff to the event and show his support for the fundraising motorcycle ride. Erickson died for his country in Afghanistan in 2014.

We salute Hagedorn for his years of support. He will be missed.



Tom Fernlund


Department of Minnesota