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Minnesota National Guard
Veterans Reintegration Seminar

The Veterans Reintegration Seminar was held at the International Chef's Culinary Center in Burnsville, Minn on Jan 30th

The City of Burnsville, Senator John Doll, the Minnesota National Guard Reintegration Team and Dakota Country Veterans Services held the seminar to educate business owners, employers, religious affiliates, education representatives and community service personnel on the past, current and future needs of Minnesota National Guardsman returning from combat

"It is not just those who have been away who are affected, but it is their friends, families, their employers and churches," remarked Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz "They need us to help and given them support and be their safety net"

"Citizen to warrior is a long process," said Chaplin Joel Severson He explained to his breakout group at the seminar about the six month training period that the citizen Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team went through before deploying to Iraq "Transitioning from warrior to citizens is also a long process," remarked Severson

Col Kevin Gerdes, the Minnesota National Guard Personnel Director, spoke about his personal reintegration process and problems he faced when he returned from Iraq

"The job which I would get up at 6am for and stay as late as I could without getting into trouble, didn't excite me anymore"¦I had to force myself to get out of bed," Col Gerdes explained to listeners at the seminar

Col Gerdes also discussed that five months after returning, his wife finally approached him and explained that he was not the same person that left and they needed to seek help

When active duty military members come back from deployments, they have a network of counselors, doctors and employers that understand their needs are readily available on their base The Guard has members that come back and live in counties throughout the state and the upper Midwest and may not have the appropriate sources available in their town

The Mayor of Burnsville and spouse of a Vietnam War Veteran understands the importance of holding an event that focuses on educating the members of the community about the importance of working with National Guard members coming back from deployment in a warzone "It doesn't matter if you have three or 30 military members coming back from war, it's the right thing to do," said Mayor Kautz

Participants of the seminar ranged from business owners to community service members and found the information given throughout the night beneficial

"All over the metro area we are dealing with returning veterans more and more," said Brian Bye, a police officer from Burnsville "They are having trouble dealing with family members, alcohol or other issues"

"It was a lot of information that I didn't know about especially through the county," said Bye "Like the Veterans Link (VETLINKS), it is more specialized than just us referring them to counseling, they have the background that a veterans would need"

"Military members need to know that their community can be used a resource if they want help," said Mayor Kautz

Breakout sessions that participants could choose from included: employers perspective, families perspective, military kids perspective, clergy perspective and community services St Cloud is expected to hold a similar event in March For more information about the Minnesota National Guard visit http://www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org
Photo Gallery: Jan. 30, Veterans Reintegration Seminar





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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.



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