Valerie (Val) Rasmussen


Vets R Us, Inc. was founded by Valerie (Val) Rasmussen, our President in the spring of 2023. Her passion for helping others and our service members led her to create this organization.

In the winter of 2022, Val attended a veteran/spouse retreat at Leech Lake, Minnesota, where she met an Afghanistan veteran. He shared the story with the group of how he had befriended a grumpy old Vietnam Veteran who would continuously push him away; however, he stayed by his side. The Vietnam Veteran had served two tours and came home with a few issues but was still a whole person. A few months later, this gentleman lost his legs in a motorcycle accident and became very angry and bitter. One afternoon, he rolled out onto his deck and said all he wanted was a flagpole with "Ole Glory" flying. The Afghanistan veteran gathered a few of his friends and sunk that flag pole. He also took a flag he had brought back from Afghanistan to honor the fallen from his platoon and raised it to the top of the flag pole without hesitation. The old Vietnam Veteran rolled out onto the deck, and tears fell down his face. Little did he know that this would be his friend's last wish as the old Vietnam Veteran passed away a few weeks later.

The experience she had at the retreat left her speechless. Men and women shared their deepest emotions with tears falling down their faces, without the fear of being judged. Witnessing the healing that took place over those three days made her realize that she needed to take action for the men and women who served and are serving.

Thus, she started Vets R Us, Inc. Her mission simple, to help veterans understand they are not alone in their struggles and connect them with others to provide friendship and support.

Studies have shown that spending time in nature can restore and strengthen our mental capacities. It can increase focus and attention, reduce stress levels, and help with depression. This is why Vets R Us, Inc. will focus on outdoor recreational activities for these American heroes.

This story reminds us that it's about caring for each other, making things better for each other, and supporting each other when we need it, even when we don't know it.

Her love of the outdoors was sparked by her late uncle, who would take her and her brothers fishing and hunting. Although she doesn't hunt, she enjoys being out on the shooting range. When the weather is good, she is out on the boat with Howard. And yes, she baits her own hook, takes the fish off, and drives the boat!

Howard Rasmussen

Petty Officer 2nd Class - BT2, Vice President

Howard was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. He served for four years in the Navy as a Boiler Technician and attended boot camp at Great Lakes, IL. He was stationed in San Diego and Long Beach, California, where he was part of the recommissioning crew on the U.S.S. Missouri.

On sunny days, you can find him fishing with his wife, Val, friends, and/or fellow veterans.

Miranda (Mandy) Olson

Director of Development

Mandy has a degree in Business Management obtained from Alexandria Technical College.

She has developed a passion for mental health awareness for our veterans after her husband, Aaron, was diagnosed with PTSD and other medical issues caused by his military service.

Mandy also volunteers to assist her husband with Cub Scouts as well as caring for her 12 year old autistic son, Cayden. Mandy has become quite the advocate for kids with ASD.

With her passion and drive to promote mental health awareness across many avenues, Mandy is a great value to our organization.

Mandy is excited to put her passion to use by contributing her time to Vets R Us, Inc.

Aaron Olson

SK Petty Officer 3rd Class - Outdoor Activites Committee

Aaron joined the Navy in 2002 and served aboard the USS John F Kennedy and USS Enterprise.

He was deployed to Iraq and again on a World tour. Aaron was honorably discharged in 2010. Today he serves his local community as a volunteer firefighter and as a Cub Scout leader for the past 5 years.

His love for camping, hunting, and anything outdoors as well as his desire to connect with other veterans makes him a great volunteer for Vets R Us, Inc.