/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Maple Grove Guardsman dies in Iraq

A Minnesota National Guard Soldier from Maple Grove died in a vehicle accident in Iraq, the military announced

Spc Nicholas Turcotte, 23, was in an armored vehicle escorting a logistics convoy with Soldiers from the West St Paul-based Company A, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry when it rolled over on a road near Nasiriyah on Monday, the Guard announced in a statement issued late Tuesday

The accident was not the result of enemy action and the cause remained under investigation No other Minnesota National Guard Soldiers were hurt in the accident, the Guard said

It was the second major blow to the Minnesota National Guard since Saturday, when two Soldiers were killed and two were injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq

Turcotte's death raised the number of people with strong Minnesota ties who have died in connection with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to 48

"It is with a heavy heart that I once again ask the citizens of Minnesota to remember this Soldier and his family in their prayers,'' Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, Minnesota's adjutant general, said in the statement

One of the wounded solders, Sgt John Kriesel, 25, who lost both of his legs in Saturday's attack, was still unaware that the blast killed two of his best friends, his family said Tuesday

Kriesel was unconscious in stable but critical condition in a military hospital in Germany and did not know the severity of his injuries, said his parents, Diane and John Kriesel, of Vadnais Heights But they said learning he'd lost his buddies would come as a bitter blow to him

"He lost two of his best friends They did everything together He doesn't even know they're gone,'' Diane Kriesel said "He's going to grieve He's a fighter, but he has to get through this''

One big reason Kriesel re-enlisted in the National Guard two years ago was that he didn't want to leave his friends behind, his family said

Kriesel's legs were both amputated - one above and one below the knee His arms were both in casts because of fractures, part of his colon was removed, and he had tubes in his lungs, they said

"That's going to be horrendous for him He loves to play football, hockey, baseball, everything He's really athletic, a kid that loves life,'' Diane Kriesel said

Kriesel was wounded and Spc Bryan McDonough, 22, of Maplewood, and Spc Corey Rystad, 20, of Red Lake Falls, were killed when a bomb exploded near the Humvee they were riding in Saturday while on patrol near Fallujah The Guard said another Soldier was injured, but he was expected to return to duty

Kriesel, a graduate of White Bear Lake Area High School-South Campus, joined the Guard on his 17th birthday and went to Iraq in October 2005 He got married just before shipping out

"Wherever his country told him to go, that's where he went,'' his father said "He believed in everything and he was a good Soldier''

His wife, Catherine, was already in Germany because she wanted to be with him when he got the news of his friends' deaths, while his father was flying there Tuesday evening

The sergeant and his wife traveled to Florida with McDonough and Rystad shortly before they shipped out to Iraq, the family said The couple bought a house in Cottage Grove earlier this year

His mother said her "heart dropped'' when she got the phone call this weekend

"Someone called directly from Iraq, I think it was a captain, he said he was there when John was brought in and that they had taken what was left of his legs,'' she said

His father said that as soon as he saw his wife crying, he knew something was terribly wrong, and he went weak in the knees himself

"At least he's alive,'' he said "That's all I care about''

His sister, Amanda Kriesel, was wearing a set of her brother's dog tags close to her heart Tuesday She said she spoke to him two days before the attack and he was happy, but couldn't wait to get home

"No doubt in my mind he's going to get through this,'' she said "He's a strong kid''

Associated Press
Last update: December 06, 2006 " 5:07 AM


Source: http://www.startribune.com/462/story/857144.html



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.



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.



Article archive
 
top