/*********************************************** * 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
VIDEO: KARE 11 -- Minnesota National Guard to receive unique mental health services

By Allen Costantini, KARE 11

Minnesota National Guard Soldiers will have access to mental health professionals free of charge
(Run time 2:14)

The stress of combat in Iraq is obvious The stress of coming home again can be no less dangerous

"Twenty-two months of separation doesn't enhance most relationships," says Minnesota National Guard Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel John Morris "So, single biggest issue for married Soldiers: their marriage relationship, followed by parenting issues There is nothing in the Army arsenal to train you to be married or train you to be a parent"

Minnesota's human contribution to the Iraq War was the longest deployment by any National Guard unit Now, those returned Guardsmen and women will have mental health services more readily available than any group of Soldiers in the past

It comes in the form of a pilot program by TriWest Healthcare Alliance and the Minnesota Guard TriWest serves military personnel in 21 western and Midwestern states TriWest Vice President Scott Celley stood alongside Governor Tim Pawlenty at the Capitol to make the announcement

"The groundbreaking, trailblazing approach that has occurred in Minnesota is now being shared in other places"

Celley says only California has even a limited version of the Minnesota project

It is called the Triwest Embedded Behavioral Health Provider Program Mental health professionals will be placed, or "embedded", at 22 armories around the state They will be present whenever Guard members are there for training for drilling There will be no cost to the Soldiers

Minnesota Guard Adjutant General Larry Shellito hopes the program will remove any stigma for combat veterans dealing mental health issues The mental health professionals will be with the units constantly, face-to-face with the Soldiers and instantly available Chaplain Morris has been instrumental in the program's implementation

"For my young, single Soldiers, we see a lot of depression It is not too hard to understand You've just been to the "SuperBowl" You've done the biggest thing that you may do in your whole life and you've come home and you're in a different place than your peers They've moved on They've been to the mall, while you've been to war and you are stuck in time, so to speak, and need to catch up"

Governor Pawlenty explained that the program is open to all military personnel in the state
"Certainly, there's a near-term need for the returning brigade and the 2,600 from the first brigade combat team, but these services are not limited to those individuals"

The announcement Wednesday morning included the caveat that most returning Soldiers are able to rejoin family and friends with few problems Inevitably, however, as with any war deployment in history, others return needing support and counseling

"We see some chemical abuse by some of our Soldiers, small minority, but it happens," Morris commented "It happens across the country, followed by motor vehicle issues The leading cause of death across the nation is motorcycle accidents for Soldiers So, addressing that kind of need for speed, that need to fill the adrenalin rush of combat with something else"

The program comes at a time when the suicide rates in the Army are at a 26-year high

Photo By Allen Costantini, KARE 11 News

Article source: http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=267053

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Article archive