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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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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.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



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