/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Tribute to the troops

With the long months of separation behind them and after some time to readjust, it was time for members of the Army National Guard 2-136th to celebrate

The community turned out in full force - approximately 2,700 - at the VFW Saturday to dance, dine and just be happy the troops are home. Before the party started, approximately 300 Soldiers and their families gathered to eat and reunite with those who had become their surrogate families. During the months of separation from their loved ones, families left behind formed a tight bond.

"It's a good thing, seeing families we haven't seen for two months, after we spent two years together," said Nancy Purdon, whose son, Jeffrey Purdon, was gone for 22 months "The support definitely helped a lot Someone to talk to was only a phone call or e-mail away"

"I think it's great that they waited long enough for Soldiers to reconnect with their families before having a celebration to welcome them home," said Judy Clark, whose son, Kristopher, was wounded overseas and earned a Purple Heart

Kristopher helped plan Saturday's party

"It was a lot of work and it's great seeing it all come together,"� he said "It's going to be a good night"

The celebration was the culmination of 22 months of waiting for Crystal Hellkamp and her husband, Donavan Hellkamp Although it wasn't easy, Crystal and their three children learned how to play the waiting game

"We just lived day by day and prayed for the next holiday to be over so it would be closer for the time for him to come home,"� she said

For some, it was a night of triumph After encountering a a roadside bomb in Fallujah that resulted in a broken back, Adam Drechsel was able to walk into the VFW and enjoy the evening with everyone else He was overseas for six months before being wounded

"I was glad to come home,"� he admitted, "but I was disappointed to have to leave the guys behind"

That he is able to walk does not surprise him

"The first thing I made sure to do was wiggle my toes,"� he said

Since their July return, Soldiers have worked at getting on with their lives After 16 months in Iraq, what Aaron Johnson noticed most when he returned was, "How clean it is There's so much dust over there I missed the cooler weather"

Johnson is back at his job with UPS in Fargo

"Driving vehicles has been hard to get used to again, and being in crowded places,"� he said "It's the mindset you get used to, that you always have to be on your guard"

The event was capped off by a presentation of medals to the following Soldiers: Sgt Brian Kutter received the Army Achievement Award; Spc Kristopher Clark, Army commendation; Sgt Louis Karsnia, bronze star; and Lt. Col. Stroud, Purple Heart

By Susan Larson (Contact) | The Daily Journal
Article source: www.fergusfallsjournals.com

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

Article archive