| Minnesota National Guard Soldiers Killed In Iraq
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two Minnesota National Guard Soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sergeant Corey J. Rystad, Age 20, of Red Lake Falls; and Sergeant Bryan T. McDonough, Age 22, of Maplewood were both killed in combat. Both Soldiers were assigned to B Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry, based in Crookston. While traveling on a patrol mission near Fallujah, Iraq an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near their vehicle on Saturday, December 2nd at approximately 4 p.m. Iraq time.
"We mourn the loss of these two Soldiers; they were truly part of our National Guard family,"¯said Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, the Adjutant General of Minnesota, "Please take a moment to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by these two brave men. We will never forget their dedication, loyalty and bravery to the United States of America and the state of Minnesota. I ask that you keep their families and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as they enter the holiday season with heavy hearts."¯
Members of the media are invited to a press conference at 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4 at the Crookston National Guard Armory, 1801 University Avenue North, Crookston, Minn. Lt. Col. Kevin Gutknecht, the Rear Detachment Commander of the 1st of the 34th Brigade Combat Team will make a statement to the media.
The Minnesota National Guard will operate a media information center at the Crookston National Guard Armory, 1801 University Avenue North, Crookston, Minn on Monday, Dec. 4. The media is invited to generate remote broadcasts from the Detroit Lakes Armory on Monday, Dec. 4.
NOTICE TO NEWS EDITORS:
-The families have requested that further media inquiries be directed to the Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Office at 651-268-8949. The family does not wish to be contacted by the media.
- Details of funeral service will be provided as they become available.
- visit: www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org
Sgt. Bryan McDonough
Sgt. Corey Rystad
Chainsaw diplomacy: MN National Guard helps restore Croatian community center
Posted: 2015-07-06 03:22 PM
Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard are demonstrating the power of the U.S. military abroad - the power to heal.
Members of the 851st Vertical Engineer Company are in the midst of a three-week deployment, working 15-hour days to repair a community center in the small village of Račinovci in Croatia, a southeastern European country that is bordered by Hungary to the north.
Since mid-June, they have been working side by side with the Croatian army in a humanitarian mission to restore the 70-year-old building after it was heavily damaged by flooding.
Monticello Soldier's motivation and work ethic drive her service in the Minnesota National Guard
Posted: 2015-07-06 02:37 PM
RACINOVIC, Croatia - Motivation comes in variety of ways, some find it with a book, some find it at the gym and some find it with the inspirational words and actions of another.
For Spc. Alyssa Bier, her dedication and drive to be a part of the 851st Vertical Engineering Company came with the words and actions of a particular first lieutenant and the inspiration to be the first female in her family to join.
"Up until when I joined, the military members in my family were all men," said Bier.
Pierz native serves in Croatia with Minnesota National Guard
Posted: 2015-07-06 10:02 AM
RACINOVIC, Croatia - Some join the Army on a whim and for others it's a lifelong dream. For Pfc. Nathan Tomala it was an aspiration early on in his life.
"Ever since fifth grade when we had career day me and my best friend, we would always dress up as soldiers," said Tomala.
He is a part of the 851st Vertical Engineering Company out of Camp Ripley Training Center, Minn. He and 30 other members the 851st VEC have recently gone to Croatia for a Humanitarian Civic Assistance mission through the Office of Defense Cooperation.
Local rails get Guard to mission
Posted: 2015-07-02 01:09 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Across the state of Minnesota, more than 4,500 miles of active railroad track is used to move material, equipment and passengers - an extension of a system which started on May 22, 1857.
"Burlington Northern - Santa Fe Railway has a rich history supporting our military, reaching back to the Civil War. Today BNSF still works closely with the Department of Defense to coordinate movement of large equipment by rail, including to and from Camp Ripley, near Little Falls," said Amy McBeth, a spokesperson for Burlington Northern - Santa Fe.
In addition to three classifications of railway systems, the federal government identified a system of railroads for the purpose of moving government equipment to support the defense of the United States.