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Mike Kriel pushes the 50th flag pin into the state of Vermont, proving that the Veterans Home woodshop has sent products to every state in the country. Star Gazette photo by Katrina Styx

50 states and then some: Veterans’ workmanship has been sent to every state in the U.S.

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For the past seven or eight years, Mike Kriel has been pushing pins into a map on his office wall. Kriel is the woodshop coordinator at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Hastings. The woodshop produces hand-made woodwork made by veterans who live at the home, and every time they ship a finished product to a new state, Kriel marks it on his map with a flag pin.


Kriel said he tracks where the items are shipped “mostly so I could tell people where most of our customers live.”

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Katrina Styx
Katrina Styx has been a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette since 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Prior to coming to Hastings, Katrina reported for weekly newspapers in Jordan, Minn., and River Falls, Wis.
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