/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Proud of state National Guard, Gravdahl returns home

"This is home, and I'm glad to be here," Andy Gravdahl said, just two days home in Pequot Lakes after serving in Iraq with the Minnesota National Guard 34th Infantry Division "Wisconsin was green and nice, but Minnesota is better"

Returning Soldiers spend a week at Camp McCoy before being bused to their home armory For Gravdahl, that meant a long bus ride to Sauk Centre When they got off the bus, they were told to move their loved ones away from the bus so the rest of the Soldiers could get off the bus

His Mom, Barbi, laughed and said the families gathered in Sauk Centre to greet the bus were told not to rush the bus, but to let the Soldiers get off the bus and put down their gear

"We stayed back until a youngster saw his dad and broke into a run and grabbed his dad's leg Then everyone rushed forward," Barbi said

"The Red Bulls, our company, goes back all the way to Bataan and the 194th Regiment," Gravdahl said "We're the Desert Bulls"

Gravdahl is proud of his unit, the First Platoon of Charlie Company The platoon came home intact with no major injuries

"I'd go with a guard unit any day over the regular army," he said "There's more maturity Take the Minnesota Guard, we have our heads screwed on straight"

Gravdahl joined the Guard in March 2004 A graduate of Pequot Lakes High School in 2000, he had his associate degree from Central Lakes College and was working when he decided to join the National Guard When it looked like the 194th regiment would be deployed, he volunteered and joined Charlie Company

He'll be home for a little more than a week, and then hell be attending a Warrior Leader Course (non-commissioned officer training) Gravdahl as an E-4 rank and has received several commendations and medals

His mom thinks hes taller, but his girlfriend says hes shrunk Gravdahl said with their body armor, pack, helmet and the rest of the gear they were carrying an extra 60 pounds He said the bouncing around in Humvees, LMTs (light medium tactical vehicle) and the new armored security vehicle probably shortened him an inch or so

The bus trip from Camp McCoy to Sauk Centre had its moments, Gravdahl said

At first every overpass had the adrenalin flowing, he said Overpasses were danger spots in Iraq I tried to relax and then I decided that I should just look out the window instead of looking up and checking out each overpass we came to

The bus trip was long, but it also was a chance to see green grass, green trees, and when they stopped for a rest stop they could hear birds singing

We had a few birds near our camp, Gravdahl said It was some kind of finch, a scrawny thing that we tried to see got some scraps to eat

There are no fences in Iraq There are camel spiders, hedgehogs and gnarly wild dogs and cats, Gravdahl said To keep their camels and donkeys from straying too far, they tie a short two-foot rope between the animals front legs

The story was, you can see your dog run away for three months, he said

He called his grandmother, Barb Olson, Breezy Point, from Sauk Centre, so she knew he would soon be home That was Thursday Friday afternoon he came to Grandmas House to help her take down the yellow ribbons on the big tree in her front yard She had one yellow ribbon up for every month he was in Iraq

Is that the tree your neighbor wants cut down? he asked his grandmother Ill come and take care of it for you

Grandmother Barb would not let anyone touch the tree until Andrew was safe at home

Mom Barbi wondered why the families werent notified the troops were coming home until three days before they would be at the armories

Orders change so often, Gravdahl said Even if you thought you knew something, it would probably change And the army didnt want any large troop movement

Gravdahl is looking forward to being home, even for just a few days He has made no decisions about his future beyond the NCO school hell be attending in Utah

More area National Guard Soldiers are returning from Iraq Barbi Gravdahl, mother of Spc Andrew Gravdahl, has kept a list of area Soldiers The list includes Aaron Simpson, Maj Metcalfe, Ryan Rossman, Ryan Melek, Kelly Annable, Josh Jaekel and Mike Davis Those are just the ones she knew about

A very proud mother, she listed the medals her son has won Andrew Gravdahl has received the Army Achievement Medal, two Army Commendation medals, the Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Merit, Combat Action Badge, Overseas Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global war on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal

by Betty Ryan, Pineandlakescom News July 25, 2007
Article source: www.pineandlakes.com




Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



Article archive
 
top