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Minnesota National Guard
Disabled Soldier inspires wounded Minn. Soldiers

He lives in Texas but retired SFC Dana Bowman was in Minnesota on Sunday to motivate troops who were injured while serving His message carries to everyone: 'disabilities are only the things you think you can't do' A terrible accident left Bowman severely injured but not about to give up On Sunday, through the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, he is encouraging wounded Minnesota Soldiers to push forward

"With my family, friends and modern technology, I stand tall and proud," Bowman told the group of Soldiers

As a member of the US Army Golden Knights elite skydiving team, Bowman did all the tricks, including the demanding diamond track He and his partner would crisscross paths, leaving a trail of smoke that formed a diamond

They'd done it 50 times before, but during a practice in 1994, it didn't go as planned Their combined speed was 300 miles per hour when they hit His friend's arm severed Bowman's legs Bowman's friend died

"Self pity, bitterness, depression, I wasn't about that," said Bowman "I wanted to come back"

Since that jump, he has skydived 1,000 more times He bikes, water skis and became a helicopter pilot

"A little fight, a little teamwork, little coaching, you can accomplish anything," Bowman said

SFC Craig France needed surgery on his right knee and both shoulders after picking up heavy equipment in Kosovo He can no longer run the way he used to and worries he can't serve his country physically as well as he has for decades

"The first time I met him I just had to hug him because he's got that inspiration," France said about Bowman

"For him to be hurt and not being able to do the things he enjoys doing or does it anyway because he knows he's going to hurt, it's frustrating to him," said Tammy France, Craig's wife

Tammy says the entire family has adapted, not only to Craig's injuries but also to the psychological ups and downs cause by war

"It's work, it's work every day," she said

That's why they come to 'Beyond the Yellow Ribbon' events

Congress just approved $2 million to help fund Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program It provides counseling and support to help Soldiers and their families readjust to life after war In just the last two months, the Army reported 42 suicides, which is almost half of what was reported all of last year

Elena Kibasova, 5 Eyewitness News
March 16, 2009

Read more and see video at: KSTPcom
March 11, 2009: "Group working to make Washington County first ‘Yellow Ribbon’ county," Lake Elmo Leader

Go to the Minnesota National Guard's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon page for more information about the Minnesota National Guard's award-winning Servicemember reintegration program.



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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.



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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